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

If my twins had social media accounts…

…posts like these would probably appear

  • Why are they making such a big deal of writing only on paper? The wall looks much nicer and colorful now!
  • Yogurt, yogurt! Mmm, I could eat a tub of this stuff.
  • What’s the point of getting us all dressed up if we’re not going to go out right away? Who cares if the adults aren’t dressed up yet – people are going to be looking at US, not them!
  • Pa-a! Pa-a! (Translation: Hey, you’re on my foot! My foot!)
  • Oooh, there’s Mommy. I need to be carried, stat.
  • Why are they always asking us to slow down when we’re running? Don’t they know we’re invincible? Don’t they – aaahh, my foot! Waaaaaahhh!
  • I will eat what I want, when I want, in whatever amount I want. The rest, I will use as facial or hurl to the floor. Deal with it.
  • Mommy should really learn to just stay put and not make a move while I’m sleeping on her. She thinks she has ninja skills and would always try to put me down on the bed, thinking I wouldn’t notice…she’s sooo wrong.

Oftentimes babies and toddlers seem to behave unreasonably, so it really helps to see things from their perspective. From their point of view, it’s not unreasonable at all.

Sometimes their needs are so simple—like wanting to be carried and snuggled—and I can’t even give that because after a few moments I’d already be trying to hurry back to my computer. I’d already be trying to put them down, but the moment they feel me doing that, little legs would clamp around my waist and I’m held hostage again. And I’d hold on tightly in return and tell myself to stay put a little longer. Their needs will not always be so simple, but right now they just want me.

sleeping on mommy

stay put, Mommy, I’m sleeping

UPDATE: A few minutes after posting this, I came across two articles that are just so apt and relevant to this toddler phase that I thought I should post them here. Recommended reading:

16 Tips for Surviving the Toddler Years – “…accept that parenting is as weird as rain with the sun out. It is no contradiction that your greatest joy and your greatest frustration are the exact same thing.”

How to Stop Toddler Defiance – “The good news is that in most cases*, toddler defiance is  just a sign of healthy development.  What’s more,  toddlers that like to say NO and “put their foot down” are not only developing well, they are actively exploring their emotional intelligence.”

A Conversation I Did Not Want, But Actually Needed

This past week has been a tough one. What started as a cough for one twin quickly escalated to pneumonia for both of them. I kept getting jarred by one development after another. First was the worry at having to be admitted to the hospital at all, then the shock at finding out from xray results that both twins had pneumonia. Then, as one twin started getting better, the other one who didn’t seem much affected at first and was not even put on IV started getting worse! So what happened was the first one who got sick was also the first one to be discharged, while the other one had to stay longer for added treatment and observation. Every day I would be hoping to be sent home, wishing it would only be a couple of days, but we ended up spending five days in the hospital. Every day I would nervously think about the twins’ progress, the work that I was not able to do, the medical expenses that were piling up, the logistical difficulties of taking care of the twins and shuttling from home to hospital to pick up supplies and needed paperwork. It also didn’t help that Don was on travel and we were less one person in the rotation.

So last night, when I was finally able to sleep in my own bed, I could only be grateful.

Grateful, and a little bit chastened—because of a few minutes of conversation with a hospital staff who was then doing chest physiotherapy on Dahon while I was holding her in my arms. Continue reading

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.

Words that hurt

I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts that at some point we were concerned that the twins weren’t in hurry to talk—they didn’t even start saying “Mommy” until they’re about a year and a half.

Now, though, words come out of them out of the blue. The other day, when Ulap saw me coming down the stairs dressed up to go to a meeting, she said, “Alis.” I was holding my dirty coffee mug and cereal bowl, so she led the way to the kitchen, saying “Hugas.” By that time Dahon has already appeared, and as I was washing the mug and bowl at the sink, she clung to my leg and said “Sama.” That’s the first time I heard those words from them!

I explained to Dahon that I couldn’t let her come with me, but of course she was still insisting. So the yaya distracted her with some flash cards, and I sneaked out as they were busily hunting up letters. I wanted to avoid a dramatic farewell scene. I waited so long to hear them talk, but I was not prepared to hear “sama” wailed repeatedly.

I wonder if I will ever be.