“Play tayo kay Jesus”

We probably should have done this earlier, but recently, we’ve begun the practice of praying short prayers aloud with the twins—during mealtimes and bedtimes, mostly, but it can also be in other times too, like when I prayed for their cough and cold to go away as I gave them an oil massage.

I’m not sure about the extent of their grasp of the concept, but Ulap for one is loving it. She is always the one reaching out for our hands and reminding us, “Play tayo kay Jesus. Play.” See, she means “Let’s pray to Jesus,” but because she can’t pronounce the “r” properly yet, she ends up saying “play.”

I didn’t think much of it at first, but suddenly, I realized: it’s such a beautiful thing when you think about it. For them, praying to Jesus is much like playing with Him. Like when a parent and a child play together, praying to God pretty much achieves the same things. It is reveling in His presence. It is a communion of spirits. It is a method of learning and communicating. It is a sure-fire way of getting to know Him. It is a gift of time.

Lord, may we always remember to seek You in prayer, and may You grant us the grace to raise prayerful children, children (and eventually adults) who are just happy to come to You and spend time with You, always.

Life with Twins: Yes, Every Day is an Instant Playdate

Play, especially when self-directed, is not only natural — it is vital for our children’s emotional health. Through play babies naturally develop physical and cognitive skills, stretch their imaginations, flex creative muscles, build resiliency and a strong sense of self.

The quote above is from the article “Baby, You Are Born To Play” by Janet Lansbury, a proponent of RIE parenting. I can’t say I’m a full on RIE parent (actually I feel iffy attaching any label to my parenting, such as it is; I sort of do a little of this and a little of that style I guess), but a lot of the stuff I’ve read about RIE make sense to me. I’m not equipped enough to adequately describe what RIE parenting is all about (for that, you can check out this link), but letting kids enjoy uninterrupted, self-directed play is one of its principles.

I used to feel guilty for not spending a lot of time doing “activities” with my twins, but now I can just say, hey, RIE parenting! Ok, just kidding. There is RIE parenting and there is distracted parenting, which goodness knows is also one of the things I can be guilty of.

In any case, because they are now full-fledged toddlers, the twins have become increasingly adept at entertaining each other. As long as they know that I’m around, I can more or less just stay in one spot and let them do their own thing. Once in a while they’ll come up to me and sort of check in, tell me what they’re doing or ask for my help in something, then off they go again. They do pretend play, horse play, throw-everything-within-reach play, run-around-giggling play–whatever strikes their fancy. And should one twin happen to be asleep, the awake one is also capable of playing by herself. We’re still a long way to the point where I can actually work on my computer for long stretches while they play, but we’re also a long way off from when they needed to be entertained or held all the time.

Twins are definitely high-maintenance, especially in the infant days, but at this stage, the fact that they have each other is just all sorts of awesome. Here’s a short video that shows some of those awesome moments. Hope it brings a smile to your face 🙂

Baby Comics, and a Sort of Veggie Nuggets Recipe

My friend Abby, who also happens to be one of the twins’ godmothers, sometimes gets a kick out of making comic strips out of the photos of the twins. Sometimes she uses the photos that I’ve posted online; sometimes, I send her a series of shots as a sort of caption-this challenge. And she’s always up for it! She really has a knack for coming up with scenarios and dialogue that seem just right for the twins’ facial expressions. Of course, I admit there’s got to be a certain extent of bias factor here, but still, I swear they’re funny! Here’re a couple of examples: comic_photo shoot twin toddlers posing Continue reading

Our First Visit to a Pedia EENT Specialist

We were advised by our pedia that the twins’ left ears—yes, both twins, but only the left ear—have a build up of earwax and would need cleaning by an ear, eye, nose and throat (EENT) specialist. Apparently the ear drops that she first advised us to try was not enough and at least in one twin’s case, the earwax has become impacted.

“Normal ear wax will find its way out of the ear canal and fall out naturally…Ear wax can become impacted if it is firmly lodged in the ear canal. When wax builds-up and hardens, it can block the ear canal and cause sharp ear pain, ringing in the ear, and partial hearing loss.” (Source)

Ugh. That doesn’t sound good. Fortunately, it didn’t look like the twins were bothered by the earwax, so before things could get any worse, we decided to have the twins’ ears checked out by a specialist.

Preparing for our first pedia EENT visit

The twins had just recovered from several days’ hospitalization, and I was worried that they’d be further stressed or even traumatized by another medical procedure. So I was determined to make their first EENT visit as hassle-free as possible by taking the following measures:

I researched and made sure that we would go to a pedia EENT.

Sure, any EENT specialist can perform the simple procedure of ear cleaning, but I wanted someone who’s really used to working with tiny ears attached to little people prone to literally jerking around and throwing their bodies up the air like one possessed when provoked, you know what I mean? I also needed to research for a specialist who’s accredited by our health card. There were a few options, but because of convenience/proximity, we chose one who holds clinic at The Medical City Gateway.

(Also, I found that it’s useless to look under EENT in the doctors’ directory–the EENT specialty is called Otolaryngology, as I eventually discovered. You learn something new each day, eh?)

thankfully no lines at 5 p.m. Wednesday

thankfully no lines at 5 p.m. Wednesday

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The Twins Turn Two!

And suddenly, the twins are two years old.

Gone are my tiny helpless preemies who seemed to do nothing but cry all day; replaced by two walking, talking, little human beings who are actually capable of sleeping through the night *fist pump*.

Gone are the days of going through numerous feeding bottles a day; now they more or less just eat all day.

Gone are the days when they were basically just cute paperweights who barely reacted to our antics; now they can fully interact with us and articulate what they want (cheese! yogut!) and what they don’t want (ayaw! ayaw!)

Gone are the days when I would regularly gravitate to the infant section at the department store; now everything there seems so small and I would wander through the aisles, looking wistful and realizing that I have to move to the general kid section to get what I need.

In those first few weeks after the twins were born, I would look forward to this period a thousand times a day. This would get easier, I’d tell myself. And it took a while, but at some point, it did get easier. And now we’re here. We made it.

Veteran mothers will probably laugh and say ha, you ain’t seen nothing yet. If you thought the newborn days were difficult, wait till you get a full dose of the terrible twos or threes. Wait ‘til you get to four! Five! Puberty! Gosh, puberty!

But never mind that. We’re here now. Gone are they newborn days. But also, gone is the helpless, weepy first-time mother; in her place, somebody a little hardened, a little more experienced, a little more capable, a little more forgiving of herself.

We’re here now, and we are grateful. Happy birthday my darlings.

2nd bday

Our First Halloween Party, with Mommy Bloggers Philippines

I’ve been a mom for nearly two years now, but a lot of times I still feel really clueless. A lot of things are googleable, fortunately, although of course what worked for some may not work for others. Much of the time, you really just have to learn through experience, by plowing through it all, bloopers and all, cluelessness and all.

For example, Halloween. I mean, what is that. I grew up with no concept of Halloween as it is commonly celebrated now, with candies and costumes and kiddie events. When I was growing up November 1 was simply “Undas,” where instead of going to a party you go to the cemetery, and instead of collecting candies you collect the melted wax slowly trickling down the lit candles in front of your dead relatives’ graves. It could also be some sort of family event, though, since you get to meet your other (living) relatives in the cemetery and sit around eating and chatting and, in the case of one memorable Undas year for me, learn to play tong its from your cousins.

That sort of thing is still done now, of course, but somehow somewhere along the way we’ve also picked up the western way of celebrating Halloween by dressing up in costumes and going trick or treating. And apparently, in the kid world, it’s become kind of a big deal.

I used to feel iffy when I first observed this development years ago. Medyo imbyerna lang. I was all, why are we imitating Western customs? Now, however, the practice is so widespread, so I just shrug my shoulders and think, well, resistance is futile. If this is a fun way of injecting a bit fantasy and magic to my kids’ lives, then I guess I’m ok with having them dress up in costumes and participate in a fun event or two.

Now, all this is actually just one long intro to an account of the event we attended last weekend, the first Halloween party of Mommy Bloggers Philippines, a Facebook-based group of, well, mommy bloggers of which I am a member. It was my first time to attend an event with the group and actually only my second blogging-related event, the first being the Ogalala event which was open to everyone anyway. It was also the twins’ first Halloween/trick or treat event.

MBP trick or treat

The whole experience was interesting, a mixed bag of boos and yeys, much like a trick or treat bag I guess. Let me share some highlights:

Yey: I dressed up the twins in fun, hassle-free costumes.

Their age and likot tendencies, the limits of my creativity/craft skills, and my unwillingness to buy ready-made department store costumes were major factors in my decision to dress them up as minions from the film Despicable Me. We already had minion bonnets bought last year, which they haven’t really used beyond a photo opp or two. So it was only a matter of dressing them up in denim jumpers and yellow shirts, and cutting up some old socks to make the logo/patches. Voila, cute minion twins!

twins' minion costume

my twin minions!

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My Favorite Viral Twins

And no, I don’t mean the disease-causing type.

Since word first got out that I’m having twins, friends would sometimes tag me or post on my timeline to show me viral posts of cute/adorable/hilarious/relatable links on twins. And cute/adorable/hilarious/relatable they are! Here are some of my favorites:

5. Tatata-Talking Twins. 

These chatty cuties have even appeared on Ellen!


4. Fed Twice.

This hasn’t happened to us exactly, but there might have been some switching of bottles here and there, with one twin managing to get the one with more milk 🙂

twin fed twice
3. Putting twins to sleep.

In separate rooms. With both twins mobile and obviously not at all sleepy. Good luck, Mommy!

putting twins to sleep cap
2. Making breakfast with twins
.

Yes, it can definitely be like this. Twins do tend to appear the moment we open the fridge, and why not? It’s a magical cold box filled with food and stuff to tinker with and spill. They can’t lose.

making breakfast with twins
1. Dancing Twins.

My favorite, and one of the first ones to appear on my feed. These girls are just too adorable! They’re a little older now, but their youtube channel shows that they’re still at it!


When tagging us on these posts, friends would ask, tongue-in-cheek: Is it like this? Does this happen to you? Well, yes. Indeed, raising twins does come with a lot of cute/adorable/hilarious situations.  There are also a lot of stressful situations, of course, but for the sake of our sanity we’d want to look at them as cute/adorable/hilarious instead. Because if there’s another thing that we keep hearing from friends, again and again, it’s this: we are blessed. Doubly blessed, wonderfully blessed, and we are thankful.