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!

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No, its not a typo. I intentionally wrote “twogether”, as in two-together.

Yesterday, my family and I went to the park to get some exercise. My husband happened to bring along my old camera and handed it to me to take some shots. I took a few good ones. But there’s this particular one that he liked so much, he spent a good deal of time working on it. He emailed it to me.

It’s true though. These boys have been together since day one. Since they were mere cells, they have been together. Spent 35 weeks or so together in my tummy. Just one incubator apart in the NICU, but still side by side. And now playing, fighting and loving together. In other words, two-together — twogether.

Even though they fight a lot, I can see their fondness for each other. When I go to the doctor bringing just Lorenzo, he looks over at Ignacio’s car seat and then at me as if to say, “Where’s my brother?” Yesterday, after having a huge fight over one of their toys, Lorenzo fell asleep. I thought Ignacio would be happy playing with said toy but instead he looked up at me as if to say, “It’s not the same playing without my brother.”

I wonder what they think of each other. I wonder if they realize that they are brothers and that they share the same parents. More than once, when I’m holding one baby and the other baby comes along seeking attention, the baby in my arms will try to swat away the newcomer. I have to say, “I’m his Mommy too.” I wonder if they understand.

I hope they become great friends when they grow up. I hope they stand up for each other and cheer each other on. I hope they realize and appreciate the special bond they share. I hope they know how much we love them.

The Red Sticks

I know that “the Red Sticks” seem like a strange name for a Mommy blog. It seems more appropriate for a rock band (sporting red hair!) or a Chinese restaurant (as in the Red Chopsticks). But believe it or not, the title of my blog refers to my twin boys, Lorenzo and Ignacio.

For some reason, both boys seem to be particularly attracted to the color red. It probably has nothing to do with their red stroller, their red car seats or their array of red clothes. Nor the fact that their Mom’s favorite color is, in fact, the color red. (I’m being sarcastic here, in case you didn’t know.) So it comes as no surprise that they like toys that are red.

The boys have this toy hammering block from IKEA which has a series of sticks in various colors. There are only two red sticks and my boys love, love, love the red sticks.

These are their favorite toys!  They go everywhere – to the bathtub when they take their bath, to bed when they go to sleep and even in the car when we are driving somewhere. Unfortunately, because these sticks go everywhere, we also tend to lose them. If there’s only one red stick left, then be prepared for a lot of tantrums and fighting. We’ve actually already bought three sets of this hammering block just so there’s always a red stick for each boy.

But I’ve noticed that they actually like any red stick-like toy. Like today, Ignacio spent the whole day clutching a red Duplo Lego block. He had it in his hands from church to lunch to the supermarket and on the way back home.  When we go to the Children’s Museum in Houston, they like to clasp these red crystal sticks found in the TotSpot section.

So when it came time to name my blog, I thought of using a title that was both personal and reminded me of the two most important little boys in my life. Consider this a welcome of sorts to my blog. In the coming posts, I hope to share with you the highs and lows of being Momma to these Red Sticks. Have a great week ahead!

Photo courtesy of Ikea.