Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Oh what fun it is to…

see lots and lots of LIGHTS!!!

Global Winter Wonderland

This past weekend, our family visited the first ever Global Winter Wonderland! The event showcased a gorgeous display of lights and landmarks from around the world.

Definitely making this a Christmas tradition!!!

The boys LOVVVVVED IT!

Global Winter Wonderland

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Go Niners, Pink Pasta Recipe, and Random Updates

I used to write to-do lists before starting the day. Now I write chalkboards.

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Go Niners! First game at the new stadium today! These pictures are old, but still good ones!

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The boys are getting bigger. Don’t worry. I tell them every day to stop it.wpid-20140813_111246.jpg

I’m telling you, they’re the ones begging for boba every day. I have to limit it to once a week.

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The sister and I braved the challenge of bringing the boys out to eat. It went well! a bit stressful and tiring, but we made it without a meltdown! wpid-20140814_113123.jpg

These sticky placemats were AWESOME. We could sprinkle some puffs and baby cheetos (they’re not really cheetos, don’t worry) on the mat and the boys could feed themselves. Adrian loves pho. He can eat anything.wpid-20140814_113247.jpg

Then we hung out outside of the restaurant. So hard to get both boys smiling so this was the best picture!

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Here are some funny faces Adrian made while I was trying to get a picture of the boys.

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After we tried putting the boys down for their afternoon nap, we found them like this. Cute you say? Well if you were there, you’d say STINKY! The boy had poopy diapers which prevented them from napping, but they were happy campers anyway. Silly boys.

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We went to a local baseball game last week. Fun! Can’t wait to bring the boys.

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Look who was at the game!!! wpid-20140812_200852.jpg

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I usually don’t do this, but I created something without a recipe! A co-worker shared a quick and easy pasta recipe and I just had to try it. I’m calling it: Pink Pasta. This dish is nice because the sauce is fairly light, which works out for someone like my mom who is not a big fan of red sauces.

Pink Pasta

Ingredients:

Pasta (I used shells, but would love to use bow-tie next time)

1 lb Italian sausage (I got the fresh one that looks like ground beef, not in the casing)

5-6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 onion, diced

Half pint heaving whipping cream

One can diced tomatoes (preferable PETITE diced, but regular works, too)

Red chili pepper flakes

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Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat oil in a medium sized skillet. Saute garlic and onion until onion is translucent.

Add Italian sausage. Cook until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add whipping cream and diced tomatoes (do not drain tomatoes). Simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Add pasta and a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Mix well. Simmer another 5 minutes.

Add sea salt and additional red pepper flakes to taste.

Ta-da!

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How was it? I really liked it, although  it was missing something. Hubs and I agreed it should have had chicken! I also am not a fan of tomatoes so I’m glad I enjoyed the meal. I did pick out the tomatoes though, whoops! I also want to add some CHEESE next time. I think it’ll be FABULOUS after the addition of chicken & cheese.

See more of my recipes HERE!

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Your turn to share!!!

~What dish have you created (or imitated) without exact measurements and directions?

~What is a go-to dish that you’ve mastered over time and don’t need to refer to a recipe anymore?

A ton of pictures without the rambling

First year collage I made for the boys!

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I don’t know who these kids are. Do you? They look too grown to be mine.wpid-photogrid_1407714819611.jpg

Oh, nevermind. Yes, they’re mine.wpid-img_20140810_060743.jpg

Quick recap of the week… opened a ton of presents from their 1st birthday! Can’t wait to post more pictures because I sure did Pinterest-it-up!
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12 month check-up with Lola (hub’s mama).
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Chillin with our buddy, Zac!
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We got to get out of the house on our own! Attended a wonderful wedding ceremony and PAR-TAY, I mean reception. Congrats, Kendra & Jason!
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Packing food for… daycare! The boys are eating really well. Here is miswa (hope I spelled that right), lugow, and ground pork w/ chayote. Yummy Filipino food from Lola! I plan to practice these recipes and share soon! Gotta build up that homemade baby food repertoire! wpid-img_20140810_211641.jpg

Aaaaaand to balance all the healthy goodness the boys are eating, we ate some cronuts…wpid-img_20140810_114718.jpg

And… whatever this thing was, a donut with Thai tea ice cream.wpid-img_20140809_155947.jpg

That’s all folks! Crossing my fingers I get a post up this week on breastfeeding/pumping and the boys’ 1st birthday celebration!

First Father’s Day, a Reunion, and a Few Recaps

The time has come. Keeping up the blog is now really hard for me to do. I’ve been super busy at work, planning the boys’ first birthday party (can you believe they’re turning ONE soon? I cannot), and THIS:

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That is my high school class during our senior year. Our ten year reunion is this year! As lead of the planning committee, my days have been filled with keeping the team on track, publicizing the event, and fundraising. Whew! Thank goodness it only happens once a decade. I’ve looked forward to my ten year reunion for a long time, but now with kids, full-time work outside of the home, and a house to maintain, this sure is some task!

The hubs had an awesome first Father’s Day! It was simple and sweet. He is one proud papa!

One thing about twins you have to know is that, “If it isn’t one, it’s the other!” Here’s what I mean:

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It’s so hard to get both boys looking at the camera, let alone smiling. You take what you can get!

Here are the boys with my dad on Father’s Day. They love their Granpa very much! We went to a yummy Filipino restaurant in town, followed by boba at a new spot!

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All three of us enjoy eating so much these days! The boys are eating very well. It’s so awesome to feed them good food. I’ll add recipes I used for the boys’ food because I want other moms to realize how easy it is to prepare food at home. It’s time-consuming at first, but with great planning and organization, it benefits not only the babies, but the entire family!

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They are used to sitting in their high chairs and can feed themselves if I give them fruit slices (apples/pears) or their new favorite, Baby Mum Mums! Thanks, Auntie Heather, for telling us about them and thanks, Ninang/Auntie Melissa and Ate Cristina, for getting them for us!

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I have so much to update, I don’t know where to begin! Let’s start with the most important for now. We’re still doing our Boba Fridays!!! The boys can’t get enough and we don’t want to deny them happiness:

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We celebrated Ate Cristina’s 4th birthday earlier in the month! You may have seen on my Instagram (@sharissespieces6) a video clip of the boys enjoying one of the rides at Chuck E Cheese. Let me just say, CUTEST THING EVER!!! Here’s our family picture at one of the cool stations. How neat is this? It appears like it’s pencil-drawn:

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I can’t help but share the video. I love how they’re so into grabbing the steering wheel. If you look closely, Adrian’s (left) face is so adorable as he makes a “Yikes!” face!

Since I have too much to update, I’ll save them for another day and just add this picture collage. We attended my friend, Bernard’s, show last night, The Producers! It was hilarious and clever and we witnessed some amazing talent! Here we are with Carmen Ghia (“He had a stroke!” and Leo Bloom (OCD much). They were fabulous!!! I enjoy watching shows and especially love supporting our local theater. Can’t wait for the next one!

 

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Did I ever mention Bernard has been my friends since the 1st grade? He’s also on our high school reunion planning committee. How awesome is that?!

Gosh, the countdown has already begun to the boys’ big first birthday. Looking back at how tiny they were and how big and grown they are now really tugs at my heartstrings!!! Time sure does fly.

The boys’ first airplane ride and big trip!

We packed our boys, I mean bags, and went to… Las Vegas! The boys did great. The plane ride there was in the evening, so they slept most of the time. But once we arrived, they were wide awake!

wpid-20140424_222608.jpg These pictures are only the ones from my phone. We took more on our actual camera. I was going to wait until I gathered more pictures, but knowing me, the more I try to work on the perfect post, the longer I’ll take to actually write the darned thing!

While we were there, I spotted Cafe Rio and had to try it! I immediately recognized the restaurant as one of Hungry Runner Girl‘s favorites and thankfully the hubs and our Godsister, Heather, were willing to go there. Thanks, guys! wpid-20140425_141824.jpg Here are the boys with the sweet Ava, who turned 1 over the weekend. It was so fun seeing the babies interact with each other. We were so happy to finally meet her! We also met her brother, Jaden, but he is a big boy – almost 4 years old – and a little spider monkey! It was a challenge to capture a picture of him.wpid-20140425_171737.jpg

The boys had a blast playing in the playroom… Toys galore!wpid-20140426_133643.jpg

Happy 1st Birthday, Ava! She rocked such a cute outfit and had an awesome time celebrating with the family.
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The boys got to try out their new umbrella strollers. They are super light and easy to open/steer. Such big boys now.
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We were waiting outside Bachi Burger with Auntie Heather, Uncle Ricky, Ava, Jaden, and… Uncle Mikey!

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I’d say the wait was worth it… I had the Miyagi-san’s Grass-Fed Wagyu Burger. YUM!wpid-20140427_164230.jpg

Jer Bear sat in a high chair for the first time! Adrian fell asleep so he’ll try it out next time.

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We walked along the strip just for a little bit. We went to the Bellagio:wpid-20140427_180113.jpg And of course had to get pictures with the strip in the background!wpid-20140427_181219.jpg

Times sure have changed. There was a time when we flew to Vegas to stay at our favorite spot – Mandalay Bay. We’d party until 3 or 4 am in the morning. We’d wake up around noon… Now, we’ve flown to Vegas and stayed off the strip at a house (but had an awesome time!), we could barely handle a 2 am bedtime, and we were up at 5:45 am on the dot because the boys are so used to eating around that time!

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Plane ride back home!
wpid-20140428_101026.jpgHanging out at the airport while Papa gets the carseat transporters set up. The carseat transporters were amazing (see first picture in this post). They were these attachments for the carseats that allowed us to pull (our push) the boys in their carseats. We then checked in the carseats at the gate. 
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Brother time!
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We’re so happy our first trip went pretty smoothly. Flying with infants – let alone TWO of them – is quite daunting. But with the right amount of preparation, determination, and patience, it is doable! We tried our hardest to maintain their routines, but you can only do so much. Whereas their regular bedtime is 7/7:30 pm, they went to bed at 11:30 pm the first night we arrived!!! I was afraid of the trip throwing off their nighttime routine, which we have worked so hard to get into the groove of, but luckily the past few nights have been back to normal!

The twins at 8 months

AJ & JT @ 8 months

AJ & JT @ 8 months

The twins @ 8 months

 The boys are eight months old! They are two-thirds of the way to their first birthday. Incredible. These monkeys are getting louder, more mobile, funnier, more social, bigger, cuter, and sillier! We’re getting more and more confident bringing the boys out. We even went to an NBA game over the weekend (see recap below)! We are very brave… or just crazy:)

Things they’re doing: These days, you can find them sitting on their own for a couple of seconds (before a wobble or, more tragically and hilariously, a face plant). They light up when someone gives them attention. They laugh, giggle, and “talk” when you do the same. They’re “talking” is really a lot of baby babbling, but they’re actually making different sounds than before. We hear a lot of sounds beginning with a “d” or a “b” and the noises are sometimes accompanied by a lot of spit since they seem to be blowing raspberries at the same time. When they’re not getting what they want, you’ll hear them probably from the neighbor’s house as their lungs are truly capable of screaming beyond belief and their voices can reach pitches unheard of. They seem to have fun when being held in a position to extend their legs and “stand.” They also react and light up to their reflection in the mirror.

Stats update: At a previous visit to the doctor, they weighed in at about 18 lbs, but we won’t know until their nine-month check-up how long they measure.

Sleeping update: Even though both boys are sleeping pretty much the entire night, they will wake up (usually between 3 am and 4:30 am) and either start babbling or fussing/whining. Sometimes it turns into a full blown cry, but it also subsides soon enough for me to not intervene and let them wait until the usual 5:45/6 am when we first get them and give them their first bottle of the day. We may need sleep training in reverse: How to keep babies from being early risers! I mean, I love waking up early in the morning to get my day started, but I’m cool with 6/7 am, not 3/4 am!!!

Eating update: The boys are still mostly on breastmilk/formula, although I recently decided to stop pumping (will discuss this decision later. I actually have been wanting to write a post on breastfeeding/pumping overall. Hope it happens!) They boys eat baby food twice at daycare, but that’s about it. We haven’t been too successful with feeding baby food at home and need to really crank that up. I did make food myself for the first time thought! I microwaved sweet potatoes, pureed them and added some breastmilk, and the boys seemed to like them enough. Looking forward to making more food at home. The pre-packaged baby food is sure adding up and I would MUCH rather make food from scratch. My reasons for not doing so are being lazy and not having enough time, but I need to really stop with the excuses if I want to start our babies off right!

See more monthly updates HERE!

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AJ @ 8 months

AJ @ 8 months

Adrian Joseph

This boy has conversations with us! Just a few days ago, I started responding to some of the noises he makes (not really noises, but actual, intentional sounds, just not actual words). What I found out was he was either imitating me back or responding. We would each make a one syllable sounds/noise (mine was “Hey”) and it went back and forth for quite a while! I thought it may have been a coincidence, but the hubs witnessed it not once or twice, but a few times, and he’s even done it himself! We’ve also done it in the car while AJ was in his carseat facing the rear and we are in the front. Super cute and amazing. Need to capture on video ASAP!

Other than that cool new thing, AJ has been overall pretty mellow, but don’t let that fool you! He can definitely scream his lungs out when he’s frustrated or not getting what he wants right away.

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JT @ 8 months

JT @ 8 months

Jeremiah Tyler

This boy is full of DRAMA! He is definitely more fussy, intense, and crazy than his brother. They both cry and fuss, but for some reason, JT almost always needs to be held and throws a fit when you walk out of the room. He love to reach and grab things he sees, which is very adorable and also very dangerous! We really have to watch out what the boys can touch. Very soon, we’re going to have to baby proof the house finally. Before we know it, they’ll be mobile and exploring and getting into things we never thought they’d get into! Funny fact: JT loves the NuWave oven sitting on our island in the kitchen! Every time I walk by, he reaches out and wants to just bang his hands on top. I try use these little quirks to my advantage. For example, while I prepare a bottle, I’ll sit JT on the island in front of the NuWave while supporting his back and then use my free hand to get a bottle ready (yes, I have skills, I know). Other times, I’ll prop up one of the babies sitting by my leg while I change the other’s diaper. This is to really promote them sitting on their own.

I feel bad that we are not around more to help the babies with these milestones. I know they practice at daycare, but there are a lot of other kids there who need attention, too. I wish I could spend all day helping the boys sit better and even work on crawling. But those milestones will all get here when they need to and soon we’ll wish they would stay in one place just like they still do (unless they are scooting away or rolling back and forth enough to move across the room!).

JT was sick last week, but thankfully he is fully recovered!

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Something fun I saw online a while ago and wanted to make my own version! It’s crazy that these boys were once in my belly. I never thought I’d say this, but there are times that I miss bed rest! No, I do not miss the limitations/restrictions I had, I don’t miss the back pain, I don’t miss the medication and endless visits to the doctor/hospital, I don’t miss all the pregnancy complications and scares… But I miss how easy it was to take care of the monkeys in my belly – I didn’t need to do anything! They ate, slept, pooped and peed (gross, I know) in my belly. They stayed in one place and I always knew they were there. I could take a nap anytime of the day, have my family cater to my every need, and I caught up on a ton of TV!

Look at them now. It’s seriously a blessing and miracle that they are here. And what’s even more beautiful is how healthy and happy they are! We are so grateful for these two.

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I recently made the decision to stop pumping breastmilk. This was a very tough decision for me as breastfeeding and pumping can be very emotional and sensitive topics, especially for a new mother. On one hand, I am sad that I will no longer be providing my babies with the “good stuff” (as the hubs so sweetly calls it). I actually stopped nursing a few months ago, but I still feel like a bond between my babies and I is being taken away. Pumping milk for them is something only I could do and I was so determined to do my best for them. Despite all of my sadness, however, I am relieved! Hauling around that little pump and all the parts needed was getting to be too much. Washing the parts, having to remember to bring everything I needed, planning my schedule around pumping, remembering to throw the milk in the fridge or freezer right away… I will soon be free! I will also have more time on my hands and will be able to invest the time I would normally spend pumping and washing parts to the babies or other needed tasks or even just resting. I could go on and on about this topic, so I’ll stop here and save it for a separate post!
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We brought the boys to their first the King’s game on Sunday! Tried to get on TV, but sadly we didn’t make it. We got tons of compliments on how cute the boys were from the people around us. These cuties always attract attention when we go out!
Our sign:
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The boys and their “Kings Selfie!”
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Family selfie! The boys did really well – they barely fussed and mainly just got restless. At one point, they even fell asleep! It helped a lot to wear them in baby carriers so our hands would be free. I was super nervous about bringing them to the game, but I’m glad we made it and I’m really glad we did it!
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