The Twins at 18 Months

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My sweet baby boys turned 18 months on February 1st.

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I have a million things to say, yet I am speechless.

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The Ugly Truth about Parenting

Once you have have a baby, or know someone who’s had a baby, you learn that there are two sides to this parenting gig.

First, there’s the beautiful, sweet, loving, and picture-perfect side that is full of moments worthy sharing on Facebook or Instagram.

Second, there’s the truth.

The ugly, imperfect, chaotic, uncontrollable, disastrous truth.

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What the outside world may not realize is that the first side listed above, the one of beauty and wonder, those moments are often far and in-between the more long-term, persevering ugly truth.

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The Preemie Life

In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month (one day late, whoops!), here is a guest post from a twin preemie mom, Lian! Her ADORABLE babies were born 7 weeks early and they are now healthy and beautiful at 4 months old. This post has touched me deeply, particularly because I can relate to all of Lian’s experiences being a  preemie mama with babies in the NICU and the scares and worries of bringing home preemies. Read on for more about her life as a preemie mom! 

chilipinomiracles - raising twin preemies

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Motherhood: Feeling good about yourself again

A fellow first-time mama expressed how she felt unattractive and such a Plain Jane.”

She was worried about losing weight, looking good for her husband, and finding confidence in herself again. She asked if any other mamas had similar feelings.

Here’s how I responded:

Can relate completely. When your hair is falling out, you’re sporting eye bags and milk stains, and you would rather sleep than take a shower, how are u ever supposed to feel good again?

Then I tell myself, all that soft flab turned mush bc of the 3 mos strict bed rest I endured to give my babies a fighting chance to survive. Those sleepy eyes have passed on precious sleep to tend to, care for, and soothe your darling babies. And those showers dont matter because your one and only mission is to pump, take care of babies, and nourish yourself so you can go on another day.

Don’t worry, mama. The time will come when you can do ur hair, take a nice,
long hot shower, go shopping, and sleep long enough for a restful face. But until then, trust me when I say, “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!'” If you dont feel it or no one else tells you, just know ur little one has known that from the start. Ok, my novel is over! 🙂

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Believe me when I say that in those beginning weeks and months, I did not know when I could feel like ME again. It was a treat to get out of my PJs and brush my teeth. I barely had time to brush my hair, let alone wash it, so I threw it up in a messy bun ALL. THE. TIME. My “uniform” became capris, loose tops, and the hair bun. When I left the house, I contemplated whether the spit up stains and dirt on my clothes could be seen from 5 feet away; if the answer was no, I did not need to change.

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***TMI WARNING!!!***

It is pretty gross being a first-time mom in the beginning.

You’re recovering from pregnancy: MONTHS of your body being stretched and a growing baby.

You’re recovering from labor and delivery: Some women go hours and days of the ultimate, grueling effort one’s body could ever endure.

And you try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to recover from the lack of sleep and rest, but you never seem to catch up (and I am afraid I’ve heard long-time parents who say you NEVER catch up).

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I may never again feel 100% like my “old self.” But already I feel stronger, happier, and more beautiful, simply because I brought two lives into this world and their happiness and health fuel me every single day.

You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll continue to say it. From surviving to thriving, there IS light at the end of that long, dark tunnel, and I’m ecstatic to finally say I am literally prancing around in that sunshine. (Gosh, I am such a SAP!!!:)

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I was afraid to post so many pictures of ME, because I truly believe life is no longer about me and it is about the boys. But that would be a mistake to forget about myself and putting myself first.

To all my fellow mamas out there, celebrate yourselves! Look in the mirror and realize what an amazing, strong, confident, gorgeous person you are. Yes there are trials and times you want to give up. But try your best to be happy more than sad, and always choose joy.

After all, happy mama = happy babies!!!

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Cheers!

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The boys recently turned ONE! Check out their one-year update here!

Motherhood: I heard, but I didn’t listen

I was warned about those early months.

Warned about the scary, ugly, yucky parts of being a mother and a parent that you don’t always see in the movies or dream about when you’re younger.

I heard everyone and what they had to say.

But I didn’t really listen.

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

I recently came across this article, “What Nobody Tells You About the First 3 Months of Motherhood.”

Even though I could relate to most of it, I didn’t quite agree with the title.

It wasn’t that nobody who told me any of these things. They sure did tell me.

In fact, it seemed like EVERYONE had advice for me, whether it was, “Get as much sleep as you can now!” or, “You’re life is gonna change!”

See, I heard them, but I don’t think I quite listened to them.

Or maybe I just didn’t realize how true those words were, or how exactly they would play out in my own experience.

Then, I went through it myself.

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And having SURVIVED those early months, I can now share my own take on the advice the author above wishes she knew in those early months of motherhood…

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Sleep training success!

The boys went to sleep for the night at 6:45 pm.

Six.Forty.Five.

The sun was still up! I didn’t know what to do first: eat, drink, cook, bake, prepare work lunches, shower, watch TV, watch an entire movie…

We started sleep training two weeks ago and it has been amazing. If you’re interested in how we did it, check out my post on sleep training here!

I was hesitant to sleep train at first for two reasons: 1) I believed sleep training meant CIO (cry it out) until the babies pass out from exhaustion and I couldn’t bear the thought of doing that, and 2) I learned that even after successfully sleep training babies, they go through dreaded “sleep regressions” due to growth spurts and being more alert and stimulated.

After doing some research and finding a sleep training method I agreed with, we did it! The past week has been wonderful. The boys are in bed early, giving us time to eat, clean up, and catch up on TV shows and watch movies!!! We’ll ride this wave as looooong as we can.

What we’ve been up to lately…

Adrian finding new ways of playing with the standing mobile:

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Our family room turned activity-slash-exersaucer-slash-bouncer-center:

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Silly Jer… wpid-20140317_161031.jpg

We’re going out for more walks!

The weather was beautiful over the weekend. We hit the 80s!

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Gonna have the boys enjoy sitting in this figuration before their feet are too long…

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If you were to ask me what is “music to my ears,” it would be a hard decision between the boys’ laughter/giggles and…

SILENCE!!!

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There are few things that beat the image of a sleeping baby. So precious, helpless, and perfect:

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Check out the cribs…

The boys’ nursery has a new crib arrangement!

We initially had their cribs on opposite sides of the room like this. Then the boys’ Lolo (hubs’ dad) suggested this option. I love the idea of the boys being next to each other and eventually being able to see each other through their cribs. Shot out to our good friends Ryan & Jo for our beautiful maternity photos. We had them put onto canvases and they are now up in the nursery! You can see the rest of our maternity shoot here!

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Well, I’m off to go and do something else because… it’s only 8:30! Watch out, I may sneak out and paint the town pink…