everyday with my son

Small stories of how it all went along

Archive for the tag “economics”

Haus Construction

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We are in the first couple of weeks in our house construction. And a few of my ideas I wanted to be adopted, it is more of a long term plan and it is more on necessity than style.

Reason why I agreed to buy this house it is because it has a separate lot that I can sell when Kenzo or Liam entered college. It is more of a college fund or investment whose value will increase with inflation and by the time Kenzo or Liam is in college the selling price of the lot is hopefully equal or more than the cost of college fees. I also made the house design with the future option to sell in mind. Like the location of windows, doors, entrance and even the front setback that we can also be converted to a carport should we sell the other lot.

But it turns out not what I expected. Mum is not to keen on selling the other lot, she just let me believe that she likes my idea just to go on with the house construction. Now the house has an overhang that encroach on the other lot. Windows are above the property line, I hoped it has a setback or an allowance so we can still open our windows should we sell the other lot.

I want the house to be in line to a minimalist style where we keep only important stuff inside the house to avoid clutter, accumulation of dust and to make it easy to maintain and clean. I prefer minimalist so that in the future we wont have to be dependent on a househelp. A house where we dont have too much stuff lying around, furniture that can be easily cleaned, open spaces, less house decors (that are just a big magnet for dust). We also need to limit our clothes and stuff that we keep.

One idea that I had recently  was how Jobs and Zuck wear the same style of clothes almost always and I realized that we can do that with our bedsheets and curtains etc. Truth is we dont need a bedsheets, pillow cases that is different every month. We can just keep about 3 sets and just alternate them. Too bad I bought several sets maybe about 10-12 already when I was in the US… well, maybe I just have to sell them perhaps.

It is hard to make someone a minimalist, we have a tendency to keep things and put heavy sentimental values to our things. We like to hoard and make boxes filled with memories that we wont bother to check again,  except only when you are very sick and about to die. We tend to over-appreciate our stuff, no matter how old and useless it is, and will not let go. Problem with this it will accumulate dirt, gather dust and become a nice home for little insects and pests.

I have been trying to make mum towards this but I am hardly making a dent, but I am still pestering her and still trying.  

I dont intend to keep a househelp, I feel it is a form of slavery and I dont really feel good about it… but having a maid is ingrained in our culture and maybe there are only a few of us who wants a home or willing to live without it.

Convincing Mum to  not have a house help is the hardest thing, as I said it is already ingrained in our culture, and it is even quite unheard of to think of not having one. 

I want all the important stuff settled first before thinking of the aesthetics. I prefer to make sure the house will have strong, continuous water before thinking about the nicest shower head, toilets etc. I want the house to be solar powered so we can freely use ACs to fight humidty. I think even with the most expensive exterior paints, interior design etc will mean nothing if the house is uncomfortable and humid. I believe an ugly house with AC trumps a nice house with poor ventilation.

We are just starting with the house and issues and disagreements are coming out, our ideas clashed and a common ground is often hard to reach. Well, goodluck hope will be able to finish this and set out roots in our new house.

 

II

problem with house construction is laymen don’t have the expertise to know what is standard measurement in construction. We cannot make the computations of loads, lateral loads etc on our own. We have to get another opinion of another engineer to determine if our house is within standard.

For example: Using of a 5′ CHB instead of 6′ for external wall, I was told that since it is just a small house a 5′ will do. Now there is now way to know if that is true or the contractor is trying to save cost to increase profits.

Wall spacing of vertical rebar,  I read ,to make house stronger should be 40cm but when I asked about this they said the standard for a 2 storey house is 60cm, then again I have no way to know this.

If anyone is gonna have a house constructed it is better to detailed all the specs you prefer on your house or get a standard quote from the con\tractor and asked it upgrade the materials to make the house stronger. Increase the size of hollow blocks, if they quote that they are gonna use 4′ CHBs upgarde it to 5′. If they told you that they are gonna  use a 10mm rebar, asked them to use 12mm etc…

Contractors incentive is to quote a low price so clients will give them their business, they  then will try to cut corners to increase profit.

It is a tough position to be in especially when you just youtube and google trained kind of a handyman.

What a question.

Kenzo just a few hours ago complained about his asthma and his itchy body and  asked us “why are these things happenning to me?”

I knew Kenzo is kinda like me and I am scared of it. I am suffering from PDD or Dysthmia or three decades now and the way Kenzo forward his question ,silently I knew, he is capable of deep thought, critical thinking, introspection, self analysis etc. Which are good things but also all of those can be a good push towards depression.

At an early age, he is already being hard on himself, maybe starting to dislike his situation, perhaps starting to realized that he is not getting a fair deal from life and these scared me. I knew how painful depression is and how it can ruin anyone and now I am faced with the possibility that I might have passed this gene to my kid.

Kenzo just broke his arm and was just healed a week ago, but now he has asthma and some rashes all over his body. He is in a bad state and the month of March and April has not been good to him.

When I was asked that question. I dont know the answer and I just gave the best BS i can think of. I just said, “he gotta do good things as good things will happen to those who do nice things” I asked his mum to massage him, I put on Vicks on his foot and covered it with socks, we  put Calmoseptine on his rashes and sang him a lullaby.

Kenzo is one brillant kid but I think his pre-disposition to sadness can be a hurdle to get what he wants in life… I just hope he will snap out of it and not fall the way I did.

Tension

Stressed and tense are the words to describe the situation in our home currently. It is the first time I felt this much bad and heavy cloud inside our house. Usually it is just me who brought the heavy stuff but there is now mum and I, a combo of negative, hateful emotions.

Even from a distance and judging from our body language anyone will know  that we are turning into a ticking time bomb and is just waiting for a trigger to start the countdown to destruction.

To make an analogy, all is now on the downhill path. We reached the happiest point and now we are rolling down.

The saddest part of all of this is that the two kids are oblivious of it, they just continue doing their happy games, acting to be like any normal kids, enjoying their youth and not knowing or realizing that all is likely gonna end…

 

Another US Trip

*Late post*

Around the end of December 2016 I left for SFO- Bay Area to be again at Menlo Park. Just 2 days after Xmas I was packing to fly out to celebrate New Year in the other side of the world.

At the airport, I arrived 2 hours before my flight but since it was a holiday season the airport was cramped with more than usual number of passengers. NAIA T2 was full, as one american passenger observed, “there is not even a place to sit.” Passengers occupied all the seats, the window ledge and some are even on the floor. It feels like we were  refugees awaiting asylum. The problem with T2 is that they have a cordoned Gate area which is too small, the seats are not enough to accommodate all and once inside it is inconvenient to walk around, use the restroom, buy snacks, etc… because your seat will be gone and you have to fall in line again to the final x-ray screening section. That  situation we had will surely remind anyone that we are in a poor, backward country, to make matters even worst our flight (PR 114) was delayed by almost 2 hours and this added salt to our injuries(so to speak).

I thought when we started to board that was the end of our hardship, but when I settled onto the seat I realized (and the passengers that sat next to me) that we were in an old,  small, obsolete plane. It does not have an in flight movie, music or even a working lamp where I can use to read my book and the seats were about a few inches smaller.

It was an horrible flight.

At Dec28 at around 830pm I was outta SFO and Sam, Eric and Susie greeted me and in a while I am in their home. The weather was cold but I realized that it was not too cold and it was something I can easily manage. I slept with just a light jacket and shorts but at early morning the cold bit me hard, I was awoken by the temp and I was literally freezing. I quickly looked for my thick jacket and used 3 layers of clothes to sleep that night, and that was the time I fully realized that it was indeed winter.

The first few days was nothing really unusual, I stay at Monte Rosa to kill time, went back and forth to kill more time, spend some time with Claro and at Susie’s time out will either go to buy some stuff to bring back home, or those on the  list of Tere, or also to eat out for our dinner… which is nothing far from what we had been doing every time I visit.

I was back driving for Sue and towards the end of my vacation I also drove Sam to school a few times.

New year’s eve: we spent it watching Moana. I Literally spent my last hours of 2016 and the first hour of 2017 inside a theater. It was a nice movie, really cute and we were  soo relaxed on those Lazy Boys we sat on.

Before watching Moana we first ate at a chinese restaurant that has quite OK food but has some mediocre customer service ( which is a norm in most chinese restos)… the food is not something I will choose over Panda Express but it is still kinda OK.

The main attraction of my whole trip was going up Lake Tahoe. When we got there Temp is about freezing point and everywhere was covered by thick white snow. It was such a pretty sight and just by mere looking at it can melt all the stress away.

We arrived about late afternoon and after resting in our rooms we head out to eat at Applebees. I also bought some bread and soda to partner with my Spam as my food in my room. As the night comes the temp go down further to about -4.

The next day we head out to see the tourist sights, we went around the Lake, eat out, drive, road trip, eat again and basically enjoy.

Our plan was to sled the next day and do some fun at snow, but when we woke up the next day there was a slight blizzard and it closed all ski and sled slopes. Unable to do anything we just decided to go to the Nevada side and ‘Casino Hop’. I thought them to play the Roulette, which we won a few times but lost a lot more, sadly.

We still tried to make most of the trip considering we cannot do much as there were heavy snow everywhere.

On the day we are to leave, It was scary. I am scared that we might get caught up there as news of heavy blizzard to come down in the afternoon of the day we were to leave. I am worried that I might not be able to catch my flight or finish some of my errands if we get stuck there for 2-3days more.

On the morning we were to leave, I am really antsy and I was silently hoping that we to move and drive down ASAP before the blizzard caught us. As we drove down snow started to pour, some 2WD cars were asked to use chains, travelling will be about 25MPH only.

As we crawl down Tahoe, I am worried and scared, as I dont want to be back there in that weather.. after about 2-3 painful hours we were over it and the snow was replaced by mild raindrops. Yehey! after a while we were in rainy Bay Area and that ended my quick fight with heavy snow.

After Tahoe, I was back doing the same stuff… buying, window shopping, eating out etc.. I prepared to flight out 3 days after Tahoe trip but that did not end there… some few hiccups happened after (see my previous post: Flight Delays)

 

 

 

A kinda really bad day

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And then it happened. Morning of 28 Sept we decided to go to the hospital as liquid discharge started to seep out. We ate our breakfast, fix our things and made last few mental notes on what else needed to be done. I brought Kenzo to Momsie’s house and we precoeeded right away to the hospital.

AT the emergency room we were recieved by the staff. The room was not that busy and all seems to be in a fine sunday mood. I waited alone in an area while they check on mum. This is the time I realized that this whole thing is now about to happen. Personally it is happy to raise a kid but financially I know it will break us, which is exactly the reason why I NEVER wanted another kid (but more on that on my next post).

The last confinement of Tereh already slashed our funds but the other sad part of it is that confinement is not really needed, she was misdiagnosed, and we just burned money for nothing. Anyway, that last hospital bill made a hole on our pockets and in about two months after we are here again for another round of hospitall bills.

That is what I am telling Tereh all this time, raising a kid is very expensive and if we have two kids both of them will share our limited funds instead of just kenzo enjoying it all.

At around 10:30 am Tereh was brought to the delivery room and I was asked to get a room and wait there for instructions. At around lunch her Cervix still has not progressed to more than 3cm and I am told to wait more. At 1pm, I got a call from the Ob Gyne that Tereh’s water bag broke but her Cervix is still small and that we might need to do a CS operation. I took her advice and I was asked to signed a waiver.

I waited for a about an hour more and then I got a call that the baby was out and I can now see him in the nursery. I immediately rushed to see him and was happily surprised to see that he looks like Kenzo but just with a fairer skin and a bit smaller than his huge brother. I thought all is fine.

After the nursery, I went to the delivery room to check on Tereh. I was received by her Dr. Perpetua Gonzales and I was told that she accidentally slashed a 2cm cut on the bladder. That they are now contacting a Surgeon and a Urologist to fix the error. I was shocked by this news and I am even speechless on what would I have to do or even say. How can that happen? How stupid can they get?

Another operation was admistered and it took them about 3-4 hours before I learned that it was finished and she was just recovering. After 12 hours lying in the operation table and getting two rounds of operation they brought her to the regular room. She looked like a war victim and not someone who just brought out a beautiful kid to the world. Physically she was a mess, a catheter was inserted and a bag that collects blood was hanging from her side. She was weak and dazed.

after 4 days, the day we are about to be discharged, another bad news happened. Her doctor stalled signing the discharge until the afternoon while she already verbally told us that we can leave already that morning. But how can we leave without her discharge? We prefer to leave before the hospital cutoff of 12pm so that we wont have to paying for another day of hospital use. But NO! Her doctor has the gall to stall us, she was nowhere to be found, and only appeared in the afternoon few hours after the cutoff—which means addtional expense for us.

The total hospitall bill is paralyzing. It was the first time in my life that I am faced with not knowing how to find the money to pay the bills. Our bank accounts are not enough to cover the huge bill, considering that we still have not recovered from the last hospital bills. At that time when the bill was in front of me my mind was scampering on how to get the money.

The huge bill is for the Cs operation, nursery care, Pedia and the most painful the second operation that includes urologist, Ob Gyne, Surgeon etc.

We struggled to find how to get the money until I am forced to tap into my mother’s bank account without her knowing it. We are now literally maxed-out and in the brink of insolvency.

What should have been a great day turns ot the darkest day of my life. we are faced with the reality that our life financially have violently shifted to worst. What we are a few months back was not the case now. Our comfortable life had tipped to the other side. We now have to sacrifice and sadly Kenzo will have too.

But OVER AND ABOVE all my worries, we got a very nice, very cute, wonderful baby.

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