Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014.

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I have so much to say and yet I will try to keep this concise… It’s that time of the year when we reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new one with new hopes and resolutions. In a nutshell, last year was BLESSED. Next year, I look forward to MORE. The above picture is mostly what is on my mind for our baby boys especially. We were given the opportunity to be parents to two beautiful baby boys on August 1st of this year. Since then, we’ve been managing quite nicely despite the crazy challenges and late nights. The crying and hard work continues, but we are now being given smiles, coos, babbles, and laughter in return. Priceless, precious moments that seriously almost cannot be matched. I’ve learned so much about motherhood and being a parent. I’m torn because as we give 110% of ourselves to sow these seeds of ours, we must keep in mind that one day they will grow up and be independent. Therefore, we must also teach them how to survive in this world and be self-sufficient. I know it seems like I’m getting ahead of myself, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that time flies so I’d better enjoy the babies in all their littleness right now. Did I say this would be concise? Ok, here’s only half of what we’ve been up to lately. I’ll have to add more later!

After feeling the Christmas spirit pretty late, we finally put up our tree! It is quite a beauty. One big, gigantic beauty. I couldn’t help myself and bought the boys their own “My First Christmas 2013” ornaments.

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Our boys’ first Christmas! They were spoiled for sure. We are so grateful to all of the gifts from our loving family and friends.

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Diaper tree from the wonderful Cindy! Those are size 3 dipes that will come in handy before we know it, decorated with sock and baby food ornaments!

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Customized tree topper by John:

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Even though our stockings were empty this year, we managed to put them up!

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The boys were baptized this past weekend and I went cake pop crazy. Can’t wait to share the boys’ special day with you. More pictures HERE!

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Where are the boys, you ask!? Here they are in their comfy Christmas colored jammies from their Lola (Grandma). The boys are getting so so big. Holding up their heads for longer periods of time, talking like CRAZY, and just filling us with more joy than ever. I’m excited to take their 5-month pictures tomorrow! Can’t believe another month has gone by. January will be my last month with them before I return to work. AHHH!

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It’s (not yet) beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It seems as if Christmas is shoved in our faces earlier and earlier each year. I think at the beginning of October is when I first heard of Christmas music and decorations striking the retail stores. We complain that we want to deal with one holiday at a time, but then a whirlwind hits us immediately after Halloween. We’re eating turkey, Black Friday shopping, and then here we are, rushing and stressing to finalize (or even start) our Christmas shopping, gift-wrapping, and decorating! Well, ever since I told myself to do less and just enjoy being a new mama, I decided to just focus on gift giving for the kids in our lives, decorate whenever the chance arrives (even if it’s on Christmas eve), and not stress about it! Ok, I’m not gonna lie. I’m TOTALLY stressing about it. But instead of allowing my stress to consume me, I just take a deep breath and remember “the reason for the season.”

We have been OVERLY blessed this past year with our two beautiful baby boys, our health, our jobs, our home, our family and friends… the list goes on! And the most amazing thing is that those things are not really “things” at all. It’s not about the material things, it’s about the true aspects and parts of our lives that make life amazing.

To add SOME kind of cheer to our days, we did buy the cutest santa hats for the boys! The boys have been sporting them every where we go, from friends’ houses, to the grocery store, to the doctor’s office! Also, I bump up the holiday Pandora stations (N*Sync and Mariah Carey are my favorite!) whenever I remember.

They boys had another round of vaccine shots the other day… It’s always heartbreaking hearing them cry… But luckily the crying didn’t last too long and Granma and Auntie Ninang were around to help me soothe them!

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Speaking of getting into the Christmas spirit, I don’t know HOW I managed to do it, but I made Christmas cake pops for the hubs to bring to work! It was fun as always, but I must say it isn’t my best work. Sometime soon I’ll get back into cake pop making and baking! Considering my current situation, I think they turned out pretty well! (Note how things have changed: Yes, that is infant formula and medicine in the background and charts on the bottom… *sigh*)

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CRIB UPDATE:

Crib training is going well! The boys are going anywhere from 6-9 hours during the night without a feeding! I can’t say they are sleeping THROUGH the night. But I’m so happy the middle of the night feed has dropped and the most I have to do is go into their room to pacify or soothe a few times. On a good night, Adrian won’t need ANY pacifying (but he sure knows where his thumb is and finds it and sucks away) and Jeremiah will need to be pacified just twice. The most funniest thing (although it needs to be fixed soon) is that Adrian wakes himself up because he make donuts in his crib and ends up like this!!!

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He wakes up crying because his leg is stuck and I have to go in and get him out of there. We were told not to use bumpers because of SIDS, but we’re looking into at least mesh bumpers because it is hilariously ridiculous that this can happen multiple times a night.

Once an early morning feed takes place around 6/7 am, I either put each baby back to sleep for a small nap so I can grab breakfast, or we play! Here are my silly boys one morning. This picture makes me think of how much we are so so so looking forward to watching them grow up together and do so many fun things with them.

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Then I’ll try to get a tummy time session in… how cute are they? Theyr’e actually doing better each and every day! Earlier, they would barely last a few seconds before screaming and getting frustrated, but now they actually last a couple of minutes and even start to babble and squeal!

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Then (fingers crossed), if they hadn’t napped already yet, they’ll nap afterward for me. It’s a mad scramble after that for me to get my breakfast, cup o’ joe, and pump.

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DAYCARE UPDATE:

We interviewed yet another place last night… Oh man! Decisions, decisions. The place was so clean and beautiful and the couple who owns the business were similar to the hubs and myself: young, friendly, sociable, same interests (can you believe this family has five, yes FIVE televisions in the family room)… but the biggest aspect holding us back is the price. You really do get what you pay for. We’re super bummed how much cost is a big deal, but there’s no denying it. Luckily, our second choice is VERY GOOD in curriculum and philosophy. It’s a few minutes further as a commute, but we would feel comfortable with our boys going there. The next few days are going to be hard making this decision and I just pray that no matter what, our boys will be SAFE, LOVED, AND TAKEN GOOD CARE OF!!!

 

 

Surviving the Holidays: Do less stuff

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Just be. Be warm, be fuzzy, be slightly squishy. Be in the moment, be on the couch sniffing the baby’s head, Be Still.

Do less stuff. 

This article written to Mamas of Littles during the holidays was a very nice reminder of what counts this holiday season.

As much as glitter and gifts are on my mind, it’s about spending time with loved ones, especially my little ones.

It’s about cherishing these moments that sometimes slip through the cracks of Black Friday shopping and Christmas plans, the decorations to be hung and cookies to be baked.

Of course I want to make this first Christmas for the boys memorable (for us and for them to look back on), so I’m looking forward to snapping photos and dressing them up.

But instead of feeling frustrated or stressed about my mile-long to do list, I’ll simply do what I can and not sweat the rest (ahem, maybe one or two glisten drops, but I promise at least no throwing a fit).

I’ll pray more, give thanks more, and love more.

Christmas Recap Part 2: Family and friends

More highlights! Click HERE for Part 1.

  • Visited family on Xmas eve (E-thang saying over and over as he opened gifts, “NO WAY!”)
  • Spent Xmas day with more family
  • After Xmas day shopping (Note to self: Go to Target when it opens because all the good stuff is taken by 5 pm)
  • Annual high school reunion holiday dinner
  • Plus a visit to the hubs’ Uncle
  • Zumba with MIL while FIL and hubs golf
  • Visit with hubby’s Lola and see more family
  • Cooking with the MIL while FIL and hubs watch the big Redskins game
 
Hosting a family gathering at our crib:
 
 
This is just the dessert side…
 

Christmas Recap Part 1 & not having a Smartphone

FYI, I do not have a smartphone and therefore the rate at which pictures can be added to my blog is less than ideal. I would apologize and promise to get a smartphone soon, but that would be silly!

Here are a few highlights of the last few days.

  • I got a Garmin for Christmas! (which deserves its own separate post)
  • In-law’s flew into town last week; we have been spending a lot of time with them
  • Three separate shindigs with the same group of people (my family, my in-laws, and my MIL’s sister’s family)… I’m sure everyone is partied-out
  • Tons of food (and leftovers), sweets, and fun
  • Everyone is healthy, safe, and happy. Couldn’t ask for more this Christmas!


Sipping my yummy caramel latte from Panera Bread as we wait at the airport:

Finally! We got to enjoy the balsamic vinegar we purchased back when we went wine tasting during the summer. DELISH and I’m bummed the bottle is almost out…