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.

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Notes to myself and their first photoshoot

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

It’s almost here. My dreaded return to work. I cannot begin to tell you the heartache I feel every time I think about it. I know I’m not the first mama to go through this, and I’m well aware that things will be fine and we will adjust. But the actual experience of going through it is extremely hard! I’ve been home almost nine whole months, from my initial pregnancy bed rest to the next six months of our baby boys’ lives. Seems just like yesterday when they first arrived. We’ve grown to know each other, we’ve learned more than enough about babies and parenthood (and still learning), and just overall have enjoyed the time together.

As I type this, the whole house is silent. The boys ate earlier around 6:30 and 7 am and shortly after when back down for a nap. I pumped at 5 am and my next session isn’t until 9. My cup of coffee is to my right, I just finished eating breakfast. As always, a million thoughts run through my head and yet all I want to do is enjoy the calm. My to-do list is endless, the house is still a mess… I should take a nap or do the dishes or prepare their next bottles or get myself freshened up for the day… Instead, I want to make a few notes to myself:

A year from now, five years, 10 years… I want to remember the incredible feeling it is to be a parent. I want my future self to know that throughout all the hard times, the blood, sweat, and tears, the crying babies, the diapers, the soothing, the rocking, the laughs, the smiles, the playing, the joy… We’ve had one of the most incredible experiences and blessings life could ever bring. Parenthood TRULY TRULY TRULY is the hardest job you’ll ever love. I look back at these past few months and it seriously is a blur. I didn’t know how I’d get past the sleepless nights, the feedings every 2-3 hours, the pumping every 2-3 hours, the fatigue, the frustration, the times I couldn’t believe the thought of giving up crossed my mind. Yet here we are, pushing through each day and looking back and being very proud of ourselves. I just seriously didn’t know what kind of a ride we were in for, now I just cannot believe life without our babies.

This morning, Jeremiah started talking in his crib around 5 am (I could hear on the monitor). He didn’t need to be soothed just yet, so I let him be and he continued to chat. I proceed to pump while I was already awake. Then he decided to full on scream. So I had to stop pumping and go tend to him. He calmed down a bit. I returned to pump, but not even a few minutes later, he screamed again. At that point, I took him out of his crib because I didn’t want him to wake Adrian (who sleeps through Jer’s sleeping, or at least is such a sweetheart and can go back to sleep after being waken up!), and nursed him in bed. He fell asleep nursing and just as I was about to put him back in his crib, I just held him close. I held him and breathed him all in. His hand laid on my chest and I just soaked in the entire moment. Snuggling in bed with this precious baby was so wonderful. Of course, he didn’t last forever though! He eventually woke up crying, so I had to get up and rock him a bit. I am worried about rocking them too much when they are about to enter daycare, but I finally realized that they will learn soon enough how to adapt to daycare so until then I will hold them as much as I can!!! Thanks to my Mommy Group, I have so many mamas telling me their experiences with the daycare transition. I am prepared for the tears and sadness in the beginning, but will be hopeful that the boys will be just fine.

Future Sharisse, remember:

– How strong you were being on strict pregnancy bed rest for three entire months: You had to literally walk into your office the following day of being told about bed rest and pack your stuff and leave. You had to give up your dreams of being pregnant in the summer (I know, who wants that?), walking around in those final months of pregnancy, continuing to exercise and run, have a baby shower or two, eat out at nice restaurants and go to the movies before babies arrived… You were so strong.

– How sweet and caring your hubby was: He stood by your side during each doctor appointment. He took on the house maintenance, the laundry, the dishes, the food. He always comforted you whenever you had a doubt in your mind, reassuring you that we would get through every down we experienced. He shared in your joy each time we got through a new hurdle and we experienced good news. He was your rock.

– How amazing your family was in supporting you: They provided food, they visited, they prayed for you. Your sister stuck around almost every day, helping you prepare food, get you refill of water after refill, and drive you to your beloved NST appointments – twice a week! Your family did so much to support you during a rough time. They were there, as they always were and will be.

– How precious your babies were from the day they were born and how amazing they are now. The minute you saw their heads full of hair and their eyes look up at you, you fell in love! They stole your heart and would forever keep it. How sweet, sweet, SWEET they were in the NICU. Fighting to get through each day. Pushing through the feeding tubes, the blood sugar checks, the meds… How strong Adrian was to avoid surgery for his dear heart. What a champ he was. How strong Jer was to head home first and pave the way into a new place. The first time you nursed them successfully, how incredible it felt to hear and see them doing something you so desperately could not wait to do. The way they would stop in the middle of a nursing session, look up with their beautiful brown eyes, and crack a smile or even a small laugh. How much they captivate your soul with just a touch of their small hands and feet. How soft and perfect their skin is and how much you want to breath them in all day long. They are TRUE LOVE!

– Lastly, that no matter what, even though you are their foundation and roots, you MUST MUST MUST teach them to spread their wings and fly. It is a long time from now, and yet I know that you will blink and wonder how you got to where you are now. That they will ALWAYS be your babies, but they will need to be independent one day and grow to be strong met who know how to take care of themselves and fight. It will be OK when they need to grow up because you were there for every moment in their life when they needed you the most. Right now, they need you for everything because they cannot feed themselves, bathe, change, or even speak for themselves. But all of those little things you do will not have been for nothing. Keep pushing on and staying strong for them!

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OK! Enough with the sappy stuff and onto the cuteness overload!!! Hope you can handle it because I sure can’t!

Our boys had an AMAZING photoshoot this week – Thanks to Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le & Christy for capturing our beautiful baby boys! Here are some favorites…

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

Photography by Tammy Nguyen Le

See more here!

 

The twins at 5 months

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Adrian and Jeremiah at 5 months

Age: 5 months

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Adrian Joseph

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Jeremiah Tyler

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Adrian is 15.6 lbs and Jeremiah is 15.8 lbs! They are wearing size 1 and 2 diapers (1’s during the day and 2’s at night) and 6 month clothing!

I dropped my usual format with the monthly posts… I think it’s easier to just write off the top of my head! 🙂

Fun facts about the boys these days:

  • Love eating their hands
  • Rolling side to side
  • We find them in all kinds of different areas and directions in their cribs
  • Sleeping through the night! Yay! Adrian sleeps like a log, bless his heart. Jer has had a rougher time, but he is getting it!
  • Grabbing toys put in front of them and trying to put them in their mouths (I put my hand in front of Jer’s face and he grabs my fingers!)
  • Both developing very similarly in terms of milestones. Jer a little faster, but Adrian is right behind
  • Holding heads up a lot better. Still wobbly though!
  • Distinct sounds: crying – we are better at distinguishing a “fake” or attention cry versus a real cry
  • Babbling is not only louder and more frequent, but it is insanely adorable! (My personal favorite is when the boys are crying and babbling. It’s as if they are complaining about life and want you to feel their pain!)
  • Blowing raspberries
  • Enjoying baths a little more, although sometimes they are just ready for bed already and start crying like crazy
  • Looking at their hands – they are SO intrigued!
  • Starting to place their hands on their bottles or at least hold your finger as you hold their bottle

 

Memorable moments:

Jer cried BADLY one night. He was inconsolable by our family members who were at the house helping watch the boys. We realized it was bedtime for the boys and had a feeling Jer was getting used to his Papa putting him down for bed. The minute the hubs took Jer, he was calmed down and was able to get put in bed. It was a sure sign that Jer knows bedtime routine = Papa Bear. Hubs was so proud and happy!

Jer flipped onto his belly during the night! It only happened once, but I was half freaking out, half excited when I saw it on the baby monitor!

Adrian is such a champ in general for sleeping through the night and staying either asleep or at least calm as his brother wakes up screaming.

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Some happenings lately… I have SO many more pictures to add, but here are a few for now!

Sans rival (Filipino cake) to celebrate their 5th month!

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The boys got Sophia teethers for Christmas! Here’s Adrian:

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And Jeremiah:

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Brother time is always the best:)

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Soaking EVERY.SINGLE.MOMENT I can with these two. I return to work in three weeks!!! Adrian:

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Jer:

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We watched Disney’s Frozen at the Folsom Palladio with my sister. It was awesome! Loved that Idina Menzel was in it. Hubs and I are BIG fans of Wicked and I’ve always loved R.E.N.T.

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I’m so happy that we are able to go out every so often and enjoy time away from the boys. We miss them DEARLY, but mommy/daddy time is very much needed to keep the love burning!

Going to hit publish on this post even though I am missing so many updates. The boys’ baptism, Christmas, visit from their Lola and Lolo… Thanks for reading!

It’s Christmas Eve and our week in pictures

Next year, I won’t complain about Christmas decorations or music in October. Time always just flies by and then all of a sudden, we’re down to a few days before Christmas. Even though it’s not about the material things, it’s still about the kids and about the thought that counts. I love wrapping gifts, baking, and just overall preparing for. But even though we are still hanging up ornaments, we just sent out our holiday card, and our house is a mess, we have more than enough to be thankful for. Jesus us the reason for the season. Thank God for keeping me and my family warm, fed, healthy, & happy. We have each other and have been blessed beyond belief. The love I feel from my husband, my baby boys, my parents, my sister, and my friends is all I could ever want for Christmas. Corny, cheesy, & cliché, but all too true! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Now for some quick updates in pictures:

The boys are talking more than ever…
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They love their new kick and grow piano… will post a video soon! See videos below!
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In the morning, I love how the boys are when they first wake up. The feeling of walking into their room,  greeting them for the first time that morning,  and seeing them smile back is so wonderful! So many things about these boys warm my heart. Their giggles, laughter, and smiles can make anyone’s day brighter.

Adrian:
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Jeremiah:

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Me and Jer. Our new thing with the boys is looking at the mirror with them. They love it and squeal like crazy sometimes!

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They’re getting so good a grabbing things! The items have to be up in there faces,  but it’s a start! Adrian in the famous blue seat:
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Supervising mommy put ornaments on the tree… we were a lil late this year with the tree,  but it’s looking so much better than last year and at least we put it up at all!:)
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My mornings alone with the boys have slowly developed into a routine. A very rough one though because even though I have a plan in mind, they still decide how things will actually turn out! Most days, they are sweet enough to hang out in their cribs and let mommy get something to eat and pump. It is soooo sweet hearing them babble through the monitor!
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Then I’ll return and the boys will do tummy time!
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Or they’ll help me pick out their clothes if we have somewhere to go that day…
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Or they’ll just fall back asleep for a little bit haha:
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Sometime last week, we made it out of the house with Auntie Ninang. Went to Target for some last minute gifts, post office to finally send out our holiday card, and to BOBA!
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How handsome are the boys in my life?!?! My lil guys in bow ties and my number one guy in a tie!:)
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RIP, Uncle Rey. A beautiful ceremony to celebrate the life of an amazing person. A husband, father, friend. It was bittersweet because the church where the funeral mass was held is the church I basically grew up in and I was happy the boys got to visit for their first time, yet it was for a sad reason. But we know Uncle is now at peace and no longer suffering. We thank God for his life with us here on earth!
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The babies loving their pianos. Jeremiah:

Adrian:

 

We’d hold them forever if we could…

Our sweet boys…

Adrian and Mama…
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Jeremiah and Mama…
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One of the best feelings in the world, your child falling asleep on you. To top it off, their little hands on my chest and holding my shirt make me melt. Their warmth is all we need.

Adrian and Papa…
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Jeremiah and Papa…
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Here are some highlights of our fun-filled and exhausting day yesterday:

The day started off with Adrian’s doctor appointment for his heart. Our baby boy has a condition where he’ll need to be monitored, but so far, he’s passed each evaluation with flying colors! He continues to be the champ we know he is. Brother Jeremiah tagged along for support:) Here they are in the waiting room!

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After the appointment, the boys were sleeping and Mama and Papa wanted to get some boba and food! We went to Lollicup to get our drinks and tocino (sweet flavored pork) & fried shrimp. Yum! You know how much I love my boba

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After that, the boys visited their great-grandma! This is Jing’s Lola (grandma) in his mom’s side. She is in a nursing home and we try to visit as much as we can. It’s been an extra long while since our last visit, however, since I was on bed rest during the pregnancy and we weren’t ready to bring the boys just yet. But we were so happy to finally bring them. Lola did so well with them! She held onto them to keep them from falling off the bed. She talked to them and smiled with them. It was a great moment.

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It was amazing how much attention the boys received at the nursing home. At a few different times, there was a small crowd surrounding us! Not only did the nursing staff and patients want to see the boys, they were drawn by their cute hats!

The boys have now met 2 of their 3 great-grandmas. Their third is in the Philippines… hopefully one day we can make the visit there!

The daycare search continues… we interviewed two more potential places. One was a big fat NO. That’s the end of that. The other place was very nice – great home and wonderful provider. The only downfall is the location of her daycare. There are two more daycares I still want to check out, and then hopefully we have seen enough to make this very big decision of ours! Keep crossing your fingers for us…

These pictures aren’t from yesterday, but I have to share! It’s so hard to get em smiling at the same time, so here’s one boy at a time;)

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Happy Friday!

We’re rolling over and getting out of the house!

Four-month stats are updated! Their weights were not a surprise, but check out their heights:)

These boys are amazing me every day. Last week, they both rolled onto their backs! I would place them on their bellies for tummy time and literally walked away for a minute only to find them rolled over! Here’s Jer:

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And Adrian:

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They’re also grabbing things a lot more. Mostly by accident, but it’s really cute.  Adrian on the left grabbing his paci and one of the tubes of my pump haha. And then Jer on the right grabbing his bib and waving it around.

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Since we’ve been cooped up in the house so much, I have been itching to brave the challenge I’ve been avoiding and go outside! I scooped up the boys into their carseats and we went for a drive! It took about an hour and a half to get out of the house: fed each boy, made sure they digested, loaded them up, and off we went! Technically, we never left the van. We just went through the Starbucks drive thru:) After I got my drink, I didn’t want to go home just yet, so I went through the McDonald’s drive-thru! I’m not proud of where I went (bleh fast food), but it was simply the point of being up and about with the boys that got me excited. My goal before I return to work in February is to one day take them out in their stroller for a walk… IN PUBLIC! Eek!

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This is how Papa found us one afternoon…

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So he decided he wanted to join, too!

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My morning drink of calamansi. If you’ve never had this fruit before, it’s similar to a lemon. These ones in particular are organic and grown by my very own dad in his backyard! Squeeze two of em into a tall glass, add a bit of sugar (shh), water, and ice and you have a nice refreshing drink packed with vitamin C! I am far, far from where I want to be in my diet of healthy, whole foods, so simple things like this make me happy. Soon I will be back in full swing with getting healthier and cutting out the sugar, fat, salt, and unnecessary ingredients in our lives.

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Can’t wait until our Christmas tree is up… Papa Bear is working on it! Crossing my fingers that my next post will include our Christmas decor:) Who doesn’t say this every year, but… I canNOT believe how fast time has flown! It’s almost Christmas and the end of 2013. Ah, 2013. The most exciting, amazing year yet in our journey together. I am slowly stressing thinking about the gift buying and wrapping, visitors, dealing with the boys’ and their sleep/crib training, but in the end, I can only make time for the most important things. In order to do that, I have to get rid of the excess and focus on family, friends, and making memories.