Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Is this it?

Working freelance has been ideal. I get to choose my projects, I can manage my time, I get to weed out stressful clients (hehe!) and the money is good too!

The downside is irregular paychecks and the absence of health benefits. Things that didn't bother me before.

Now that Pablo is here, though, I've been thinking a lot about applying for a regular job. Yes, it will mean less time with Pablo (huhuhu!) but it will also mean health benefits that will cover the three of us (me, Pablo and Mr. L). It would also mean regular paychecks that we can count on.

Nag-iiba na pala talaga kapag nanay na ano? I used to just think about myself, about what I want, about my dreams, about what is ideal for me. My family has always been supportive of me exploring whichever career I want to explore. Before Mr. L and I got married, he already knew that I'm still taking a lot of detours and twists and turns in my career path and he had no qualms about it. Even until now.

Right now though, I'm about to  make a decision on which path to follow. It's something that I've always wanted to do but have put off because I've always felt that I wasn't ready yet. There was just a lot of ground I wanted to cover first  and now that I have satiated my hunger for experience in various fields, I think I'm ready to settle down now. Charet! Haha!

I don't mean to be cryptic. I just don't want to divulge any half-baked information yet. Hehe. I can only hope that the universe will once again conspire to help me out. ♥️

Photo from Pexels.com

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

11 Things About Delivery No One Else Will Tell You

When I was pregnant, all I had to do was download apps like What To Expect, visit different websites, and message friends/medical practitioners whenever I needed to find out more about my baby's development inside my tummy, about baby's first weeks of life, about parenting, or if there's just something I'm worried about. Technology really is a blessing especially for first-time mothers like me.

Admittedly though, I could not get enough of information for when I'm actually in the Labor Room. Being an imaginative person, I created different scenarios in my mind starting from when I would be in labor up to coming home with our new baby.

When I actually got there, I realized there are a lot of details from the reading materials I've devoured. I wished I could have mentally prepared myself more.

So first-time preggers, I got you! I'm listing down the small yet important details I should have mentally prepared myself for. Of course your experience could be different from mine. I just think, in one way or another, that these might help you somehow. 

BABALA: This can be graphic so for anyone with a weak stomach, hindi 'to para sa inyo.  

For one, I didn't know labor involved A LOT OF URINATING, so the first items all involve peeing. 

See how they are working on me down there? Awkward bes
but that's a fact of life.

1. MY URGE TO PEE DOUBLED. I know for a fact and by experience that pregnant women pee every so often but while I was in the Labor Room (LR) it seemed like my urge to pee even doubled! Maya't-maya nawiwi ako and because I got into the LR at 4CM, the doctors wouldn't allow me to get up from my bed anymore so I had to..

2. PEE ON A BEDPAN. Nakakaloka 'to kasi hindi talaga ako nakapag prepare para dito neveor read this anywhere so I was a bit horrified at first but because the call of nature was very strong, I just had to do it! I've never peed on a bedpan before nor do I know anyone who had to so I didn't know that.. 

3. PEOPLE HAD TO HELP ME PEE on the bedpan. Grabe dyahe! I know they are professional medical practitioners and that these are all in a day's work for them, still, sana man lang naihanda ko ang sarili ko. Eh maya't-maya nawiwiwi ako. Minsan nga pinipigilan ko na lang :( 

4. MY WATER BAG HAD TO BE POPPED. When I was at 7CM, one of the doctors told me they had to pop my water bag, this will speed up delivery daw. It didn't hurt because I was well into epidural at the time but when I saw the device they used to pop my waterbag, juskoday naloka ako! 

5. DRAINED MY WATER BAG USING A TUBE. They had to insert a tube inside me and drained my water bag while there were..

6. PEOPLE WATCHING. And when I say "me" I mean my mini me down there. It was very unnerving but yes, they watched as fluid drained out through the tube. After that, from peeing on a bedpan, I moved on to..

7. PEEING ON A DRY SHEET. They had to put a dry sheet on my bed when they popped my water bag and because as my contractions grew stronger and more frequent, I could not hold in my pee anymore. Kusa na lang siyang nagti-tinkle. 

There was also a point where my OB requested for a urinalysis (I don't know if it is SOP or if it was just because my BP was high) and so the person that collected my urine HAD TO watch me pee because she had to catch the midstream urine. 

Kaya pa? I TOLD YOU this could get graphic. HAHA!

8. THERE WERE SEVERAL INTERNAL EXAMS (IE) I don't know what I expected! I just know that although necessary I detest IEs and I did not expect there would be quite a few before delivery. It was uncomfortable every single time except once the epidural kicked in.

9. PREPARE TO GET NAKED. Hindi ko alam if you can tell by my photos pero hindi ako kasing kinis at kasing sexy ni Christine Reyes. I know, shocking right? Hence, my distress in showing a lot of skin. I'm not really conservative, I'm just conscious haha! That's why I felt really awkward when I had to be butt-naked pala when they were putting in the epidural line and that there will be LOTS of people at the Delivery Room! As I've said, wala lang naman sa kanila yun because they're all professionals but if you're a conservative or conscious like me, this is something you have to mentally prepare yourself for. 

10. PUSHING IS HARD. To push hard is hard. Hahaha! Kaya pala there are Lamaze classes to prepare you for all that pushing. Getting instructions when you're being wheeled to the DR can be quite confusing. I was like, why am I hearing this for the first time eh 12 hours na akong nandito? Anyway the instructions I get were: once you feel a contraction take a deep breath then push while counting one to ten, and push using your abdomen not your throat. Practicing breathing techniques will also help a great deal.

11. MENTALLY PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE PAIN AND DISCOMFORT AFTER DELIVERY. I mentally prepared myself for this because I saw both my sisters give birth and I witnessed how they had to endure pain and discomfort after the delivery. Even so, I still was a bit shocked at how weak my body seemed. For the most part, I was exhausted and aching all over. I also couldn't pee! Huhu! The doctor said my bladder was still getting used to having an enormous pressure having been lifted off it that's why I had difficulty to urinate. There was also another IE (ugh!) and of course the pain from the sutures (although you might not need this if you're lucky).

All in all, I think I fared quite well. I was in awe of almost anything. I love new experiences and perhaps that was why I wasn't scared. I wanted to take everything in. Uncomfortable lang talaga at nakaka-haggard pero doable naman. Generations of women have endured far more discomfort and difficulty in giving birth kaya swerte na talaga tayo ngayon.

Also, worth it naman talaga once your baby is in your arms. Especially when you have moments like this. 

hope I didn't gross you out too much haha! Ultimately, if you're a first-time pregnant woman about to give birth, I hope this helped. Have a safe delivery!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Creepy events from our apartment

You guys know we recently moved to a new apartment, right? On moving day, my mama, who was visiting from the province, Pablo, and I stayed at my cousin's house for a week while Mr. L prepared the room for us. I know, isn't he a dear? Anyway, we've only been here for about two months pero may mga creepy na pangyayari na. So now we are looking for another place ulit. Kwento ko sa inyo ang mga ganap.

First ganap. The first day Pablo and I stayed at the apartment, it was sunny and humid being at the tail end of summer. Mr. L was at the office and we were in our room. I just put Pablo to sleep when the door slammed shut. There was no wind or else I would have felt it kasi nga super init. The electric fan was also turned away from the door and there wasn't anyone else on the second floor with us at the time. Instead of getting scared, I was actually pissed kasi kakatulog lang talaga ni baby nun eh. So I said, "Pwede ba? Natutulog ang anak ko?!" Buti di naman sumagot hahaha!

Second. My sister-in-law came to our bedroom door late afternoon last week. She said her older sister was experiencing sleep paralysis and when she woke her up, she said she dreamt that a woman was taking Pablo away. Natakot ako pinabuksan ko lahat ng ilaw!

Third. Later that afternoon, I was downstairs breastfeeding Pablo and talking to his great-grandma (Mr. L's grandmother) about how Tita L had a scary dream about a woman taking Pablo away when the electric fan turned off suddenly. Eh mainit so I went over to see what happened. I figured the plug probably came off the outlet kahit na hindi naman loose ang saksakan but no, naka off na yung electric fan. Eh ito yung electric fan na you have to turn a dial to turn it off/on or kung ano'ng mode and bet mo. So ang freaky nung naka-off na sya eh wala namang gumagalaw nung fan.

Fourth and freakiest. That same night, I dreamt that Pablo and I went to the gate of our apartment compound where there was a woman who took interest in Pablo. She reached over daw and touched his feet but I moved away from her. Tapos naputol do'n ang panaginip ko. I woke up and there was a dark greasy girl (oily si ate gurl hahahah) at the bottom of our bed looking at Pablo. I knew immediately I was dreaming because I couldn't move.  I've had experiences with sleep paralysis before so I know that was what's happening. Pero freaky pa din lalo na't kay Pablo nakatingin tapos di talaga nawawala yung oily na ate gurl. Good thing Mr. L heard me trying to sleep shout and woke me up. He later told me that upon going back to sleep, siya naman ang nag sleep paralysis but didn't dream of any dark greasy girls naman.

Last night, Pablo wouldn't go to sleep. He was fussy and wouldn't let us put him down. Actually buong araw siyang gano'n pero inisip ko baka dahil may sinat siya because of the vaccine. Last night he had no fever anymore pero fussy pa din. Ang nakakaloka lang kasi when Mr. L takes him out of the room nakakatulog siya but the minute they enter our room he wakes up with a start and looks around like he's scared and cries so hard. Ngayon nga wala na siyang boses huhu! Kawawa my baby. Mr. L said we'll sleep downstairs so we schlepped our pillows, blankets, Pablo's stuff downstairs and slept in the couch. Nakatulog naman na siya. Although he probably just got tired from all his crying so he's fallen asleep. 

Right now we're back in our bedroom and it took three hours to put him to sleep at ngayon nga ay nakatulog na. We're not taking any chances though. I've been repeatedly praying St. Benedict's prayer, too and we've been playing praise songs. Again, not taking chances with our little one.

We also looked for another place this afternoon and found a nice one. Of course that's not the only reason we're moving but it's certainly among them.

Kayo? Do you believe in the paranormal?

*Photo from Pexels.com

Sunday, June 25, 2017

6 Tips to Prepare for an Interview

Working freelance has its perks and drawbacks. I may earn up to a month's worth of a regular employee's salary for a single project but I'm not sure how many projects I'll get in a month or if I'll ever get any at all. Lately, being focused on my new baby, I haven't been able to accept projects and therefor have been a "pabigat" to my husband haha! Hindi man lang ako makapag contribute sa household expenses tapos ang mahalia pala ng bakuna! Kakaloka! 

To tell you honestly, hindi ako sanay nang walang sariling pera kasi I started working the day after my college graduation. For twelve years may sarili akong pera. We were raised by my mother not to ask for money unless it is absolutely necessary. Mahirap kasi kami noon, at ngayon ay nakaluwag-luwag na pero di naman kami mayaman, kaya kung luho at bisyo never yan ipinanghihingi lalo na ipinangungutang! Dyahe.

Having been tengga for a couple of months made me consider looking for a regular job once Pablo is big enough. Although marami pang kailangang i-consider and this is something that my husband and I have yet to discuss thoroughly. Sa ngayon kasama lang muna siya sa mga pagmumuni-muni ko.

Haba ng intro! Haha!

It's just that, these ruminations reminded me of all the things I have to prepare when the time comes that I have to apply for a job. Just thinking about them already exhausts me haha! That's why when my niece, Ikay, asked me a few days ago what she can do to "impress the HR" and basically deal with the pressure of looking and interviewing for a job, I thought of coming up with a list of basic tips. Here goes.

This is me going in for an interview. Charot!

1. Prepare an impressive resumé. Look for formats online and find the one that best suits you and the position you are applying for. All you need is a suitable font, an easy-to-read layout with an optimal place to showcase all your qualifications, and a good, I'm-the-best-person-for-the-job photo.

It is also pertinent that you are honest with everything you write on there, too. If you put in your resumé that you can speak five languages then you better be able to speak five languages!

2. Read up about the position you are applying for. Companies have webpages now where they list all the jobs they have available and  the qualifications needed. Peruse them and see which job fits your credentials. This is actuallky the cheat sheet to the question "what qualifications do you have for this job?" ;)

3. Read up about the company you are applying for. Interviewers get impressed at applicants who have done their research about the company, it just shows how much interest you have to be a part of them. 

Plus, it would also do you good to know a lot about the company that you might eventually belong in; do they treat employees right? Does it have a good mileage? Is it reputable?

4. Practice makes perfect. It might seem silly and funny but engaging in mock interviews with a friend helped me a great deal in my interviews before. I Googled for "Sample Interview Questions" and practiced on them with a friend. We were laughing at ourselves at first but eventually became comfortable with it. If you're too shy to do it then just make up answers by yourself and practice alone. Come the interview, when you're too nervous to think, those pre-cooked answers will be your lifesaver.

5. Power dress. Look up from Google or Pinterest what's the best outfit for an interview. Not only will it create an impression, it will help you feel good and confident about yourself. It need not be expensive, it just needs to be the best one for you and the best one suited for the company and position you are applying for.

6. Relax. I know it's very difficult to relax when you're pressured to the core but let me tell you, the worst interview I ever did was for the job I wanted so bad. I was under a lot of pressure that I couldn't focus! For the position I didn't want as much, I was very relaxed during the interview so I was able to think quickly and clearly and led me to get the job! 

The key is to be prepared. Be very prepared to the point that you can almost relax during the interview. Just think, "I got this!" haha!

We always get that advice "just be confident" but it's very difficult to be confident when you're unprepared. My advice is make all the necessary preparations and being confident will come easy.


Enjoy your job hunting and don't let the pressure get to you. Have fun! Job hunting is stressful but it's an experience everyone goes through. Generations before you have gone through this experience and so will generations after you. Hindi ka nag-iisa! Prepare and impress that interviewer. Best of luck!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Breastfeeding Frustrations

Months before I even gave birth, I was already resolute on breastfeeding. I read a lot about it too; how your supply replenishes and increases when your baby latches more and more often, about how some mothers unfortunately stop breastfeeding their babies because they think they are low on milk supply, I read about galactagogues, etc. My husband has been very supportive too. He started bringing home malunggay and has been cooking dishes with lots of sabaw during my last trimester. Even when I used to hate milk and oatmeal, I started to incorporate them into my diet, milk first then later on the oatmeal.

TMC, where I gave birth, is a hospital that advocates breastfeeding and I am forever grateful to the nurses who taught me how to make my baby properly latch and who encouraged me that my baby was getting enough nutrition even when I don't feel that I have a lot of milk. 

During Pablo's first month, I exclusively breastfed him. There were very very few instances when he was given formula but I can say that 90% of the time he is breastfed. He used to feed for about four hours at a time, crying whenever I put him down but it just made me happy because the more he sucks the more that my brain is sending the signal to my breasts to produce more milk, right?

Some of my friends advised me to pump but whenever I do, I'm only able to extract a few drops! As in gapatak! Mas malalaki pa yung patak ng luha ko! I didn't lose my determination though because I've read that pumping milk does not produce as much milk as when you direct feed your baby. When one of my breasts became too sore, I fed Pablo solely on my right breast while the other one heals. My husband came home with a new breast pump because we thought the one we already have is faulty. I was expecting my left breast to harden up or at least leak milk but none of that happened. Not even when he got me an electric breast pump. I also never experienced my breasts filling up to the point that it becomes painful but I only attributed it to the fact that my little Pablo never really gave it a chance because he was almost always latched on to me. Tig four hours talaga with just an hour in-between na pahinga eh! Pero go lang because I was advised  by the pedia to feed on demand.

I got passive-aggressive comments when people noticed that Pablo seems to not be growing or gaining weight but I brushed it off. I've read somewhere that breastfed babies aren't chubby like formula-fed milk babies because breastmilk don't have a lot of calories. Isip ko, as long as Pablo is healthy it's okay even if he's not chubby. I was thinking, I KNOW what I'm doing. After all, I'm giving my son the BEST milk there is.

The thing is, when we went back to the pedia when Pablo was a month and two weeks old, we found out that he only gained 200 grams! 200 grams! What? I was asked if I feed on demand, how often, and how long. In the end, they recommended that I mix feed with an organic formula, "just until he gains the expected weight" sabi. It broke my heart. I was grilling myself what I did or didn't do. Maybe I didn't drink enough milk? Or water? Maybe I didn't eat enough malunggay? Maybe because I took the supplements at the wrong time of the day? 

I almost detest preparing the formula and only give it to my son if after he breastfeeds he still seems restless and dissatisfied. Over the following weeks, though, I have observed Pablo gaining weight rapidly. He now fits snugly into his onesies. He also seems more alert now that he actually has a lot more time to do something else aside from just being latched on to me for the most part of the day.

It is bittersweet seeing him grow in formula milk. Sweet because oh how I love that he has grown so much in just a month! Sweet because I love having more time just looking at him and appreciating him. But bitter because it just reaffirms the thought that my breastmilk supply is low and that he wasn't getting enough during his first month and it just breaks my heart over again.

To add to that, I've been getting even more passive-aggressive comments(from fellow moms no less!) about how my son was deprived of milk. Deprived. Deprived! Deprived? As if I had all this milk but just wasn't giving it to him. As if I could have given him all the milk he needed but I just didn't WANT to.

Was my son deprived when I was feeding him for four hours at a time rarely being able to do much else? Was my son deprived when aside from drinking, taking, slurping all those galactagogues I was also digesting books and articles about how to increase my milk supply? Was my son deprived when I fed him as long as he needed to even when my nipples were broken, my back hurt like hell, and my mind clouded with lack of sleep? Was he deprived when I was messaging fellow moms about tips on increasing my milk supply? Kulang na lang magmakaawa ako sa Breastfeeding Pinays sa Facebook na i-approve na please ang request ko to join - which they still haven't, by the way. I wonder why.

My heart aches because I already think that I'm a bad mother. I did what I believed was right. I only wanted the best for my baby. Even the formula milk ads do say that breastmilk is the BEST, after all. Then why? Why did my son not gain enough weight? Why don't my breasts fill up? Why don't I have a lot of milk? 'Yung iba nga nagdo-donate pa sa sobrang dami. So it doesn't really help that other mothers seem more and more smug seeing my Pablo gain weight on formula milk because then it gives them more license to say, "I told you so".

Our Pablo is a little bit older than two months now and he has visibly gained weight. I am still not giving up on breastfeeding. Even when he's more excited to feed on bottles now. Huhu!  Even when it is easier to just whip out the formula milk when he gets hungry during the small hours of the day. Even when I get comparative comments I don't like from when I was exclusively breastfeeding and now that he is mix-fed. Even when I work doubly hard in pumping, drinking milk with oatmeal(three times a day yan), drinking two glasses of mother's milk everyday, and taking supplements. Lahat na! Kahit lansang-lansa ako sa sabaw gora lang! Kahit tagaktak ang pawis "tea, milk, at sabaw is life" pa din!

I've been feeling that my breasts have become painful lately, nagli-leak na din sila. When I pump, I get as much as half an ounce. Improvement! Mukhang nag-iincrease naman ang milk supply pero kulang pa din. Oh, I really hope my milk supply increases! I really really want the best for my baby. I also badly need support from breastfeeding mothers. Can someone please approve me in the Breastfeeding Pinays FB page? Can I sit on your cool table, pretty please?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Clark: Month 2

I can't believe it's been two months already! How amazing our little boy is. He has truly changed our lives these past two months and I can only hope that we get better at parenting.

Here are 10 things about Clark at 2 months

  1. He sleeps less now
  2. He is more aware of his surroundings. He seems to be taking in the people, sounds, colors, and everything around him now.
  3. He smiles a lot!
  4. He is more mobile now. He reaches his hand out to touch whoever is holding him. He kicks and kicks his little cutie feet!
  5. He smells soooo good!
  6. He loves being held.
  7. He falls asleep to humming and dance dance.
  8. He likes exposing his neck when you carry him haha!
  9. He loves hugs from Itay. He falls asleep on his chest.
  10. He coos and ahhs and makes adorable sounds.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Etiquette for Housemates

Before I got married, I had my own apartment for half of a decade. Although I've lived alternately with a roommate and by myself, the place was mine. My room was bigger than the roommate's and most of the stuff in the apartment were mine; TV, ref, utensils, etc. I got so used to having my own place that it was quite an adjustment for me living in a house with Mr. L and his siblings.

Don't get me wrong, I like my in-laws and I'm lucky enough that I married into a family that I get along really well with. I'm writing about this because I do realize that most middle class couples have similar living arrangements, they either live with parents-in-law or, in our case, siblings-in-law. Ideally, we should all have our own place by the time we get married but such is the fate of the middle class in our country. 

I understand that not everyone is blessed with considerate and amiable in-laws like I am. However, I also have to do my share in order to maintain a harmonious relationship with them. Since I also have friends and relatives who have the same living arrangement (some sadly do not get along well with their housemates), let me list some reminder items of sorts on how to maintain a positive environment whether you're living with in-laws or with other people in general.

Observe respect and be considerate of others. I think this is the key on how to get along with the people under the same roof as you. Ito na yun! Wala na talaga akong ibang tip hahaha! Choss lang. Seriously though, if you respect your housemates, you will find that everything else will follow suit. So that's number one.

Clean up after yourself. Since you're living with other people, make sure that you do your part in taking care of your home. If you're not keen on General Cleaning like me (hehe), then at least make sure that you don't leave your trash lying around. A wise former teacher of mine told us once, "kung ayaw mong maglinis, huwag kang magkalat." I've lived by that rule ever since. Kung nagkakalat man ako kwarto ko lang para walang ibang napeperwisyo haha! This is simple; wash the dishes you used yourself, throw your empty shampoo sachets after you shower, put the remote back where it's supposed to be after watching TV, etc. Very small things but you'll be surprised how many relationships have been ruined because of these so be mindful.

What's theirs isn't yours. This could be tricky because living together somehow blurs the line on which are for sharing and which aren't. Here's a rule of thumb: Stuff that are within your personal space are only yours to use. Stuff in the common area are for sharing. Okay but what about food in the fridge or on the table? Ask. Always ask. If there's no one around and you drank that coke in can, replace it as soon as you get the chance. If you took a slice from the cake(guilty) on the table, tell the "owner" once they're home. These are called courtesy. Again, these are very small things but small things can snowball. Better show courtesy and avoid conflict altogether.

Understand that you have different practices and idiosyncrasies. "Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you" may not necessarily work when you have different backgrounds with your housemates. Sometimes you may do something for them that they do not necessarily appreciate but this does not mean that they are automatically ungrateful, sadyang magkaiba lang talaga kayo ng nakasanayan and that's okay. You just have to adjust. You and your housemates also have different moods, there could be really good days then really bad days. Don't take it personally if at times they don't seem keen to talk to you, baka bad mood lang. Don't jump into conclusions. If they are being rude, tell them so, I'm sure they don't mean to be rude half the time.

Don't be petty. So I mentioned that small things add up and they can actually cause damage to your relationship with your housemates, oh eh pag maliit na bagay palampasin mo na, ikaw naman. I know that when you're in a bad mood, these little things that irk you can be magnified ten times pero choose your battles. Hinga-hinga lang tapos palampasin mo na. Huwag magtanim ng sama ng loob dahil lang may kumagat sa donut mo'ng iniwan mo sa ref. Bili ka na lang ulit. If this happens a lot then say something but nicely, wag naman "SINO NA NAMAN ANG KUMAIN NG DONUT KO?!?" Ako kasi yung tagakain ng donut, sorry na hahaha!

Respect others' privacy. Growing up, I didn't have a room of my own. When I was a kid, our entire second floor was our sleeping area. Our personal space was where our bed was. I didn't have my own kasi lagi akong nakasiksik sa mama ko haha. This fact could have impaired my view of privacy. I used to just barge into people's rooms all the time. That changed when I lived with my sister and her husband. I do not go into their room with my brother-in-law there. I learned to respect their privacy. Now I'm conscious with knocking, calling out, asking permission before I come inside other people's rooms, if at all.

Advise your housemates if you have visitors coming. When you're at home, you're supposedly at your most comfortable; feet up, bra off, short shorts, you get the picture. Now Imagine your housemate walking in on you with a visitor, you scramble to get your feet off the couch, you slouch hoping they don't notice that you're braless, you get your stuff out of the way, the works! Hassle diba? Also, consider if you have enough space for you, your housemates, and the visitors. Observe common courtesy and give a "warning" when someone's coming just to make sure that everyone is okay with it.

My siblings-in-law actually quite spoil me, they bring food up to our room when I'm cooped up in there with the baby but they don't hold it against me (I hope haha) that I don't do the same for them. Perhaps one day I can return the favor. In the meantime I do my part by religiously washing my own dishes right after I use them, by not helping myself to their food from the ref (well, except for that donut, and cake, and buko pie. Ano ba papalitan ko okay?? Hahaha!) and by making myself scarce when they have visitors, etc. Minsan, I'm not in a good mood and I think it shows when I scrunch my face up or when I sigh a bit too loudly haha pero they're all very forgiving. I'm lucky.

I know there are probably lots more that I failed to mention and you may not agree with some of what (or everything that) I said but the key is RESPECT and BEING CONSIDERATE. 

I think if you know how to respect your housemates' things, practices, and privacy then you will observe common courtesy. You will be considerate. If they don't always show you the same courtesy, learn to let go if it's not that big a deal. Choose your battles. It's a lot easier to put an effort to get along than live in a negative environment. 

Also, it's not as if this living arrangement will last forever so just make the most out of it. Someday, you'll have good "remember when" stories to tell.

*photo from Pexels.com