Using Youtube

I’m a great proponent of technology and you can even see that in the way I interact with my sons. We regularly use our devices (iPhone, iPad and the laptop) to play with our kids. We especially like using Youtube.

At first, I was skeptical of using Youtube for my sons. I  mean, do two-month-olds really understand any of that? But we initially used Youtube to play them lullabies because we didn’t have any of our own lullaby music yet. And also, we used Youtube to play them Filipino nursery rhymes and children’s songs. We wanted to expose them to some of the songs we knew as children and this would not have been possible without Youtube.

Over time, as the boys appreciated the videos more and more, we were able to do action songs with them. In fact, one of the first action songs they learned was Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Wheels on the Bus. Using Youtube not only was a great way to interact with the boys but also was a great teaching tool. It was with the help of Youtube (and Mommy and Daddy singing and acting out the songs over and over again) that they learned to do the action songs. Plus, they really enjoy it! More than once, I catch one of my twins doing the actions of the song when he hears it play.

So if the boys enjoy it and its available to them, why not use it? (Of course, this also means using it in moderation. Read: not all day, everyday.) It has saved my sanity more than once. (Scenario: Boys screaming and I have to cook dinner? Want to watch some Youtube videos, boys?)

It is with this line of thinking that a few friends and I decided to create our own Wheel on the Bus animated video. It’s our first effort but I think we did a really good job. Let me know what you think!

Please subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/aralclub

Taking Out Tots

One of the challenges of having a toddler is making sure he or she has enough energy-burning activities during the day. In other words, you want to make sure your toddler had enough exercise during the day so he or she will fall asleep easily at night. Okay, easy enough. But what if you have twins and you have to take them out by yourself?

This is still a challenge for me and my husband.We thought this was difficult when the boys were little babies, but it’s even more difficult to control toddlers! One night, we went to a Super Target for a quick trip and the boys were walking all over the place. Lorenzo, in particular, did not want his hand to be held and wanted to walk wherever he pleased (and not necessarily where we needed to go). My husband and I would just quickly look at each other and wordlessly (something that can only be achieved by eleven years of marriage) agree who would run after who. It was so difficult. I can’t imagine going there by myself! Maybe I can manage it if the boys either sit on the shopping carts or on the stroller. But I don’t think we can go in there with both of them walking. My husband feels the same way. Although I’ll probably feel differently when the boys get a little older and are able to understand (and follow) general instructions such as “Don’t run in the parking lot!”

I’m not complaining. At least now I am able to load the walking toddlers into the car at the same time — without much fuss. We just simply walk up to the car and I put them both into the car at the same time. (One baby stands inside the car as I buckle the first one in.)

I used to have to employ their old Jumperoo toy (see photo above) when putting both non-walking but older babies in the car. It was a whole process:

Step 1: Open garage door. Open door leading to the garage. Load baby bag and other necessities in the car. Leave the car door open. Position Jumperoo in front of door leading to the garage.

Step 2: Put Baby#1 (aka as Ignacio just because his car seat is positioned behind the passenger seat) in Jumperoo.

Step 3: Put Baby#2 (aka as Lorenzo) in his car seat, which is positioned behind the driver’s seat. This is strategic so Ignacio can not only still see me (and vice versa) but also is actually just about three feet away from me.

Step 4: Take Baby#1 in Jumperoo and put him in his car seat. Meanwhile, Baby#2 can see me from his seat the whole time.

Step 5: Lock the house. Close car door. Get in the car and drive away. Oops, don’t forget to close the garage door.

It seems like such a funny and drawn-out process but it was so effective (and efficient) for me! I guess when you have twins (or kids for that matter), you just do what you gotta do!

If you have two little ones (not necessarily twins) how do you prepare to go out? Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Life is good

Lately, my mind seems to be running a mile a minute. It’s like I wake up thinking, ” Okay, I need to do this and this…” Then at the end of the day, I fall asleep thinking, “Okay, tomorrow I need to work on this and this…” Not that I’m complaining. I like being productive. But it does seem kind of exhausting.

Then, as if to wake me up, I glance over to my sons and the world stops. I notice Lorenzo’s long, dark eyelashes and his steady breathing as he sleeps. Or Ignacio stops playing just long enough to squeal with delight and come running to embrace me. Or sometimes, when I find myself so worn out that I am laying down on the carpet as the boys play, Lorenzo comes over, burrows his way into the crook of my arm, embraces me and just contentedly watches TV with me this way. Then I take a deep, long sigh and I think, “Life couldn’t be better.”

Becoming “Mom”

It took my husband, Glenn, and I forever to have kids. Nine years to be exact. Someday I’ll tell you all the details but today let it suffice to say that it took us down a long and arduous road.

And after nine long years of marriage, I was pregnant with — surprise! — twin boys. When these boys were born, they became the loves of our lives. Not only was I a mommy at last — but I was also the mommy of two, very different, and very strong-willed beautiful boys. I’m still learning the ropes but one thing I do know after 17 months of mommyhood — it is not easy. Nope. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably has never been a Mom herself.

During the nine years we were trying to have kids, people used to tell me that “you won’t understand until you’re a Mom yourself.” And it always used to bother me, like it excluded me somehow. But now I do understand. And I know they’re right.