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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I’m an offical sponsor for Twinmommy101!

Hooray!!! My volleyball team won the championship in our women’s quads league!!! Winning has never felt sweeter. We worked our butts off. It feels so good to be back on the court and to actually play well!

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Things I’m Reading These Days

First, pictures of the boys, of course!

The boys & papa accompanied me to Ulta yesterday. They were very well-behaved and Adrian was even very sociable and cute, making the ladies in line behind us smile.

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The toe grabbing is just so adorable.

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Jer was almost not having it, but he made it through the short trip. Thanks, Jer.

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The boys are sorta getting the idea of their Sophia teethers… They’re getting really good at grabbing toys and items in front of them, and even better at putting them in their mouths. How we are going to keep up with cleaning and sanitizing everything, I do not know. But I also hear it’s good to not be such a germaphobe because we’ve gotta build up that immunity!

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The things I read these days seem to be 99% baby- & parent/motherhood-related, 1% everything else. I wish I could read more current events, new recipes, fitness and running blogs,  even celebrity gossip. However, I am still in survival mode. I’m still trying to navigate the chaotic world of parenthood, while juggling work and a household. Thus, I continue to gravitate toward anything on raising babies and being a parent.

Luckily though, since returning to work full-time last month, I am ever so slightly transitioning into a new mode. I’m happy that I am finally going from fighting to survive to learning to thrive. I may not be ready to go for a run again or throw a party, but I’m cooking again (yay!) and getting back into old routines, which makes me feel like I’m finally enjoying myself as I wade through the waters of parenthood, compared to when I was fighting to barely stay afloat.

When I stumble across a great read these days, I send an email to myself with the link and then save those emails to a folder for blogging inspiration. It was a great idea until the folder started to grow and grow and I never found the time to write. So today I realized that I would be happy with simply sharing each link I’ve saved so far in order to spread (what I think is) the goodness and move on with my (blogging) life!

Parenthood and Raising Children

10 Common Mistakes Parents Today Make (Me Included) | Kari Kampakis

This post is a pretty much a big “NOTE TO SELF!” I know some of these things are not quite applicable until later on, but it’s nice to have a glimpse of what is ahead.

Our Montessori Home | When Hippos Talk

I never completely understood what “Montessori” meant. This blogger does a great job explaining – complete with pictures!

I Signed Up for This | Mrs. Gore’s Diary

This post caught my eye because I wrote something with a similar name, although the title suggested the exact opposite. This post written by Mrs. Gore was honest, humble, and true. After I read this post again, I look forward to reading the follow up.

Photographer Captures Beautiful, Loving Glimpse Into The NICU | Huffpost Parents

I can’t believe how much I miss the NICU. Being a parent in the NICU has certainly given me a newfound hope, inspiration, and admiration for all people – parents, family members, friends, nurses, doctors, and most importantly, BABIES – who have ever had their lives touched by the NICU. I regret more than ever not saying yes to photographs in the hospital. It’s true that I was too busy and stressed about the babies’ health that I just passed up the opportunity. What’s worse I that I learned Kaiser does full on photo shoots these days with babies! But luckily we were given an amazing opportunity to capture the boys during their infancy and I will cherish those pictures forever.

 

Being a Mother

31 Days to Becoming an Organized Mom | Mommy Kudos

More than half a year into our kiddos’ lives, we’re ready to tackle those pesky home projects that have been put on hold for far too long! Before starting, we need to get our house back to a functioning, beautiful environment. Home maintenance alone is such a challenge. Laundry-food prep-dishes-tidying… it’s a never-ending story.

A Breastfeeding Story: Breastfeeding Through Leukemia | I Am Not the Babysitter

Wow, this post inspired me. I cannot wait to write about my own experiences with breastfeeding.

Dealing With Working Moms Guilt, Whether You Love or Hate Your Job | About.com

I sure did type things like “working mom,” “feeling guilty with kids in daycare,” and “dealing with mommy guilt,” to name a few. I think I may have shared this other link on a separate post, but the lesson learned is that no matter what your situation as a mother, you are doing your best and that is more than enough!!!

25 Rules for Mothers of Sons | Team Studer

Growing up with a sister meant I grew up in a household full of women. It was nice to read about things I have to look forward to now that I have been blessed with two baby boys.

50 Things Moms Need to Do for Themselves | Elephant Journal

I agree! Now the challenge is finding the time to actually do these…

A Love Letter to the Father of My Child | Elephant Journal

This letter really resonated within me. Becoming parents surely changed our lives, but the relationship I share with my husband is still #1.

 

The 1% that is non-baby/parent related

Ben & Jerry’s Nails It With New Core Ice Cream Flavors | Huffpost Taste

There’s ALWAYS room for ice cream! MUST. TRY. THESE. ASAP!!! See? I’m not 100% baby/parenting…

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Did you see how long that list was? This is why I can’t even try to blog more often than I do. I spend a good amount of my time reading other amazing blogs and good stuff!

I wish I could devote an entire post to each link above, complete with all my thoughts and comments, but no can do. This gal has to keep on moving along!

AJ’s first tooth!

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Adrian first tooth made its debut last week! Time is flying by so fast that both he and Jeremiah have their second ones peeking through. I really need to take a snapshot of these cute little teeth. I will certainly miss their toothless grins.

Starting solid foods

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Jer trying peas for the first time

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Adrian trying peas for the first time

 We have officially started on solids! WOW is what I have to say first. The world of introducing solids to your baby is as overwhelming as when we first learned we were pregnant. What foods to start with? Rice cereal or straight to fruits and veggies? Four months or six months of age? Homemade or pre-packaged? My head hasn’t spun this much since I first stepped into Babies R Us for our own baby registry! For now, we decided to introduce the babies to solids at six months (we began at the beginning of this month) and we skipped the rice cereal. After hearing there is not much (if any) nutritional value to rice cereal and it is merely to fill babies up and introduce them to the texture of food, and learning that it is OK and even encouraged to go straight to fruits and veggies, that’s what we did!

First food was peas. Believe it or not, but peas are one of my favorites. Ask any of my family members and they’ll tell you how I love eating the peas they pick out of their own meals and set at the edge of their plates for me! Next, we tried squash. Currently, we are working on sweet potatoes! So far, Adrian is getting the hang of things and even opens his mouth when the spoon gets closer to him! It’s so fun. Jer on the other hand is getting better each time. He is still making silly faces and isn’t showing us that he loves it. The key thing to remember during this time is “before one, it’s all for fun!” We are just practicing how to eat and the babies still get all of their calories/nutrition from breastmilk and formula.

First time getting sick

The babies got sick for the first time! I forgot who had the fever first, but both babies definitely were congested, had runny noses, and were coughing. Luckily, they were in good spirits and only had to miss daycare for two days. It’s certainly hard to see your babies sick. But in a weird way, I’m glad they did just so we can know what to expect and how to take care of them in the future. With daycare, we were warned they’d be getting sick often! The sickness definitely made its way around the house, affecting me and the hubs, too. We are just one sick family!

Work & daycare update

Being a working mom (and parent for that matter) is exhausting! I wish I could go back in time and slap the sillies out of my old self for complaining about being tired after work. Even worse, my old self when all I had to worry about was myself and going to school! I wouldn’t trade my current life for anything, but how carefree and naïve I realize one can be pre-children.

We’re slowly, SLOWLY getting into the swing of things. It’s such a big help to prepare things the night before to avoid a chaotic scramble in the mornings, but even with all the prep we do, it’s still a mad rush to get out of the house. There’s a constant juggle between getting enough sleep, getting out of bed and dressed for the day, waking/feeding/changing the boys, gathering all of our stuff, gathering all of the boys’ stuff… it’s such a huge ordeal! We’re certainly getting better at leaving the house in general, but during the week, it’s important to have everything since the boys will be at daycare all day and we will be at work.    

More pictures!

In no particular order of our recent events…

Took a walk around the block during my last week at home. Loving the boys’ new ride.

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The boys sporting their Monsters Inc. shirts!

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Jer doesn’t look too happy…

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There’s the Jer Bear smile!

Hanging out with the boys’ cousins… We checked out a new boba spot! The two kiddos on the right are twins also!

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Can you guess the flavors?!

The kiddos were in town for a bittersweet reason. Their great-grandmother, the hubby’s maternal grandmother, passed away at the end of January. We all felt at peace knowing she was no longer suffering and would be reunited with her husband, but we all felt sad to lose her and especially since she was the hub’s last grandparent. Here we are at the funeral:

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We’re so grateful the boys were able to meet their great-grandmother at the end of last year. We’re also blessed she was able to see us get married. She will forever be in our hearts!

The boys’ Lolo and Lola (grandfather and grandmother in Tagalog) visited because of the funeral. It was also bittersweet to have them back to see the boys.

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The twins with their Lola (hubby’s mom) and Granma (my mom)!

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And we can’t forget Auntie Ninang!

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A a fun little video was shared in my mommy group and I wanted to share it not only with my fellow moms, but all parents. A nice little reminder to breathe and enjoy parenting despite how hard it can be. It’s always a nice reminder that no matter what, our best is more than enough! More on mommy confidence HERE!

A birth story

At last! I managed to find time to write. I really want to share the story of the twins’ birth so I can get it out there already and especially before I forget all of the details. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m a mom. Part of the reason may be because the boys are not home with us yet. The other part is just that I am in so much awe of how perfect these two little babies are and I can’t believe we made them and that they are all ours. The hubby made this gorgeous necklace for me. It’s from Origami Owl and has cute little footprints for our boys, two August birthstones, the peridot (pronounced pear-uh-DOUGH, as I was corrected!), and a cross to represent our unfailing faith that has pulled us through our challenging journey and continues to keep us grounded.

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Alright! Let’s rewind to the night of July 31st…

The moment it all began…

9:45 pm – We just finished eating dinner. Steak cooked by the hubby. My sister just left our house after hanging out with us all day. I told the hubby I would get ready for bed and try to sleep early for once (I had been sleeping pretty late watching TV shows… ahem, Game of Thrones!). This may be TMI for some of you, so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t wanna know… I sat down to pee and after I wiped myself and stood up, something kept trickling down into the toilet! I froze and my eyes were wide open and I sat back down to wipe myself again. Stood up after and there went the trickle! I called out to the hubs and said that I think my water either broke or I am leaking fluid. He couldn’t believe it at first until I told him I really REALLY thought it was time! I kept monitoring the leaks and soon after called in to labor and delivery. I explained what was happening and a nurse told me to head on over! Having twins and a high-risk pregnancy meant that I should go straight to the hospital the minute I was leaking or my water broke. They did not want me to wait for contractions to pick up.

On the way to the hospital… 

10:15 pm – Thank goodness I was prepared with my hospital bag! I calmly grabbed a few remaining items to throw into my bag while the hubby scrambled around putting his bag together (I kept telling him for days to prepare it!) But I didn’t mind at all because he had already done such an amazing job preparing for the boys, especially without my help since I was on bed rest. I just want to show you how stylish my hospital bag was! =P It’s actually a Petunia Pickle Bottom weekender diaper bag given to us by two really good friends. But I figured that I could put it to the test before using it with the boys…

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Anywho… If my water was just leaking at home, then on the way to the hospital, my water definitely broke! I was grateful for a tip that a friend gave me, which was to put a garbage bag and towels in the car. The car ride was very chill and surprisingly calm. I always worried that deliver night would be a hectic ball of chaos, but instead, we kept our cool the entire ride there. We actually forgot to even put the radio on (something we ALWAYS do when we get into the car), but it was nice just talking with my hubs, anticipating the arrival of our little ones. There wasn’t any traffic on the road because it was late at night, so the drive was really nice and easy.

Arrival at the hospital… 

10:55 pm – I hadn’t felt any contractions since my water broke. I was still calm and relaxed as I walked up to the registration area. I was already pre-registered and a nurse told me they were expecting me! I was brought into a room to be evaluated for contractions and soure enough, the doctor who examined me confirmed I was in labor! At this time, Jing informed his parents and my family to let them know. Earlier, we told them we were on the way to the hospital, but now we knew for sure that tonight was the night! The doctor said I was 2 cm dilated and 100% effaced. This really made me realize the babies were coming. For the longest time (since May), I was dilated 1 cm and luckily stayed that way for the longest time, thanks to strict bed rest and meds. So to hear I was 2 cm woke me up that I was actually progressing and moving toward delivery!

The funny thing is, I was taken off those meds earlier that day (July 31st)!!! I had a regular check-up and my doc told me that they do not stop labor at 34 weeks and up. We asked her if this meant I would go into labor sooner than expected and she doubted it. Oh boy, how things were just the opposite that night!

In the triage area, I was hooked up to monitors for the babies’ heartbeats and my contractions. Sure enough, the contractions were getting on a very regular rhythm and were getting more intense, although not too intense just yet. I could feel my stomach tightening and then relaxing and I just kept holding on to my belly as it was my last night with the boys inside!

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This is where I have to hurry up and shorten the rest of the post… baby needs are already consuming all of my “spare” (as if there is such a thing) time!

The waiting begins… 

12:55 pm – I was moved to a labor and delivery room where I would wait until showtime. I was told NOT to be a soldier and let the nurse know when I was ready for an epidural. I had recently gotten my first smartphone (finally joined the dark side) so I was able to enjoy surfing the net for a little bit before the contractions really began picking up. Here I am, ready to DO THIS!!!!

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Epidural needed, stat!!! 

3:30 pm – By this time, I felt really bad contractions. After months of not going through that time of the month, it felt like it returned with a vengeance. I wanted to be a soldier, but it was time to speak up. I called a nurse and she brought the doctor with her to check out how dilated I was. Remember how I was dilated 2 cm upon arrival to the hospital? Well… now I was 8 cm!!! I guess I was a soldier! The doc said it was a good thing I called them because any further and I may not have been able to get the epidural. After the epidural was placed in (which went as smooth as can be, thank goodness!), I was 9 cm dilated! Doc said it was straight to delivery we go. No time to waste! I can’t believe I had no time to “enjoy” being drugged up and just waiting around. It was SHOWTIME!!!

We were going to the OR (operating room) just in case, but I was going to do this naturally (push em out!). It was a really last minute decision, but ultimately, I was overly grateful for the doc who pushed me to go natural. Dr. MacNear, THANK YOU! We were unsure for the longest time whether I’d have a C-section and at last it was decided. Doesn’t my hubs look great in scrubs? 😉 Whoa, unintentional rhyme, did you see that?

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Here we go… 

Sometime after – I arrived at the OR and the doc checked me again – fully dilated! After all the books, all the videos, all the classes, all the advice, I honestly feel like everything went out the window and I was focused on the here and now. I soaked everything in: the equipment in the room, each of the many nurses ready to care for the newly born babies, the doctors, the nurse on my right giving me instructions when to push, and most importantly, my husband to my left coaching me, holding me through it all. I am glad I got the epidural. I cannot imagine not having it. I still felt a lot of pressure pushing out Baby A. But he eventually made it out! Baby B had to come out through a breech extraction. I was able to hold each baby as soon as they came out and Jing cut both of their cords! 🙂

Special delivery (times two)! 

Adrian Joseph

Born August 1, 2013 at 4:40 am

4 lbs 14 oz, 19 inches

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Jeremiah Tyler

Born August 1, 2013 at 4:43 am

5 lbs 3 oz, 18.5 inches

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Update: One year later…

Check out my monthly updates throughout the boys’ first year! Can you believe they’re already a year old?