Thursday, July 5, 2012

this blog has a new home..

Hi there -

Are you looking for more of my sweet family's news and updates?  I'm still around, but have moved the content from this blog over to my new website: How Sweet Life Is

You can find new updates under the "my sweet family" category over at

Now, you don't want to miss my new posts!  Be sure to add your email to my list of followers when you visit my new blog.

{Be Happy!}


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer's here

"Sun is shining, the weather is sweet;
Make you want to move your dancing feet."
{Bob Marley}

There is nothing sweeter than enjoying time with our girls on a sweet summer day.  They bring us so much pleasure, despite all the hard work we put into each day.  Lately, I've been travelling a bit for work.  It's been fun, but it's also been hard.  It's tough not to wake up to their mischievous little laughs in the morning.  They have both learned how to undress herself already and, no, this is not a good thing.  I have woken up many a morning to find them in bed playing with a diaper, with Zoe's little tush hanging out of her barely-on pajama pants...and what does she do?  She giggles when she sees me, and politely hands me the wet diaper.  Eva is no angel either.  She is a little ball of mischief and all play.  When it's time to get her out of the crib, she lunges back down to lay down, and pretends to go back to sleep!  She does this for a few seconds until she's good and ready to get up.  Oh the joy they bring me!

We've been in Florida now for over nine months; we can't say the transition has been easy, but we can say that we are finally in a good place.  We are in our own little home now, and can finally settle down.  The neighborhood is like one out of a TV show, where every knows each other by name, and neighbors welcome us with apple pie.  We are even blessed enough to be part of a golf community (even though, for now, we won't have the luxury of playing golf for some time).

Eva, trying to bring the tree in our backyard down, one branch at a time..
while Zoe contemplates whether to stay back or join in on the fun....
The girls love all the attention they get each time they meet someone new.  Eva lights up the room with her smile as she tries to charm every person she meets, while Zoe clutches onto us tightly, fearing we're going to hand her over to a stranger.  At the beach, Eva is fearless.  She threatens to jump out of our arms and into the water when we wade in the warm ocean waters.  Zoe, however, wails each time the water splashes onto her, and won't even put her feet down on the sand.  Despite being identical twins, our two girls have very distinct personalities.

Eva - playing with sand...can't get enough of the beach!

See Eva digging into the sand, while Zoe staying safely by mama on the blanket...
We are blessed to have such sweet daughters and love every minute of parenthood.  We are also very fortunate to have the help of my dear mom these days, who is staying with us in Florida for a while until we finish getting settled in.  She has the patience of an angel, and the girls just love playing with her, and being silly.  They are not used to being around others besides us, and just love the idea of having one more person to toy with and have chase them around the house.  Eva grunts every time she hops on her little ride-a-long so that someone will push her, even though it's been weeks since she learned to push herself along...   Zoe practices her bilingual skills with my mom, as she repeats every little word and phrase she hears.  There is so much love in our home these days.  Our girls are blessed, and so are we.

my little beach bunnies and their abuelita..

Sunday, June 5, 2011

take time to smell the roses

Lately, our days have been one blur after another.  So many things have changed in the last few months, it's hard to keep up with everything.  All good things, I must add.  I started a new job in March, and shortly thereafter we were in the market for a new home here in Florida.  By the end of May, we had left our apartment and moved into our new house.  It's been one week since we moved in, and it seems not one minute goes by where we are not tackling an item on our to-do list.  

We were virtually fully unpacked in three days, which is quite an accomplishment, considering we have two little ones running amuck and begging us to chase them around in circles.  On Day Three, which happened to fall on Memorial Day, we enjoyed some time off outside and broke in the backyard with a quick family BBQ.  Eva and Zoe had never had watermelon before, but dug into their slices like pros and even joined us as we ate home-made cheeseburgers.  They love being outside and can't stop staring at the trees' leaves and their shadows as they sway in the warm breeze.

Slowly, we begin to settle into our new home.  The fear of living in a two-story home steadily subsides as the girls' enthusiasm over taking the stairs on their own fades and they willingly let us accompany them as they independently crawl up the stairs and scoot themselves down as we join them.  It amazes me how fearless they are.  They run through the living room without abandon when we tell them it's time to go upstairs.  The few boxes that remain unpacked are a constant reminder of all we have left to do, but to them they are mere objects they can pat and drum on to make their own music.  

We rush to get them to bed early enough so that we have time to do more, but they are on their own schedule and in no rush to get out of the warm bubbly bath they so look forward to each day.  In the tub, they are almost impossible to control.  Zoe cracks herself up as she balances herself on one leg while reaching for her toes, and repeating 'lingle lingle' in an attempt to say 'wiggle wiggle', which is what I do with my bare toes to encourage her to tickle them.  Eva will not sit up, and instead prefers to practice swimming moves as she lays on her belly and kicks her feet as hard as she can and giggles as she splashes all over us.  Together, they are my little yogi and little swimmer, though they have no formal training...

The day is over, but there is oh so much more left to do.  Every night since we've been here we have continued our day long after the girls' is over, and not gotten into bed a minute before midnight.  I've been immersed in organizing and decorating while Victor has slowly been learning the ins and outs of home repairs; he knocked down a wall to make room for our new fridge!  Together, we make a great team.  His carefree attitude balances my over-zealous expectations.  He reminds me of how far we have come, and of how much we have done.  He lets me know it is okay if everything is not always perfect, all of the time.

We have more than earned a night off.  Tonight is about soaking it all in.  We have been through so much over the last few years, and it feels so good to finally have arrived at such a good place in our life.  It is time to take a break from the chaos that becomes of our busy days, and simply enjoy the good things in life.  In time, our new house will become our dream home, and new memories will be made here.  For the meantime, I am just going to sit back and smell the roses...and count my blessings as each new day unfolds.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A moment to reflect...

Pretty In Pink
How sweet it is.  Motherhood, that is.  Today, I take a moment to reflect and give thanks for everyone who was there for me this time last year.  Delivering my sweet angels was truly a labor of love, and without the incredible support I received from family, friends and the medical staff at St. Joseph's, I don't know how I would have gotten through it.

I could have never dreamed I'd be admitted to the hospital at 26 weeks, much less deliver at 29 weeks.  My stay in the hospital was necessary, and I knew that from Day One.  All the books and advice I took in could not have prepared me for a more unpredictable turn in my pregnancy.

What I remember the most from that precious day was hearing a tiny cry when they delivered my firstborn.  I was so relieved and overwhelmed with joy.  I looked up and saw the tiniest baby, as they announced it was a girl and held her up for me to see.  Within seconds, they pulled the second baby out and announced it was also a girl.  I didn't get to see her, and her cries were too faint to hear.  They prepared to whisk my babies away and asked Victor to join them as they transferred them to the NICU.  A wave of relief washed over me, but also sadness as I lay there on my own as they stitched me back up, without my babies and without my sweetheart.

It seemed like hours before I saw Victor again, though I know it was only a few minutes.  I was shocked when I learned how small they were, weighing in at only 2 lb 5 oz and 1 1b 12 oz.  I prayed their tiny size would not be a factor in their health and wellness.  I was wheeled over to meet them later that night, and thought they were so BIG compared to the image I'd played in my mind.  It was love at first sight, the moment I saw them.  I remember they were not next to each other, and that broke my heart, but I knew they'd still be close as ever regardless of their temporary separation.

Despite the pain I was in during my healing, I walked to the NICU the very next day to visit my girls.  I couldn't get enough of them, and was so sad they wouldn't be going home with me.  I spent Christmas eve in the hospital, and after exchanging our Christmas gifts on Christmas morning, I was released Christmas night.  

Although it was nice to finally be home, I remember feeling so empty having just given birth to two beautiful babies, yet being in such a quiet home.  I remember the comments, "Enjoy the quiet while you can; You'll never be able to sleep again;  Enjoy your last days of 'freedom' before they come home".  They were all wrong.  I cried myself to sleep wishing I could hear them cry all night, and comfort them in my own arms.  We called the NICU at all hours just to get an update on how they were doing.

One week later, we finally named our angels.  It was the most meaningful task we were ever faced with.  I know many were surprised in how long it took us, but we just could not begin to think about names until we knew they'd be okay.  We also wanted to get to know them a bit better, and make sure their names reflected their big personalities.  Today, I am happy with our choices as their personalities shine through more each day, and know we made the right choice in taking so long.  

Eva Grace and Zoe Elyse are our angels.  We were truly blessed on December 23, 2009, and the blessings continue as they grow.  There is no sweeter music than their little screams when they beg us to get them out of their cribs, and their little chatter when they seemingly talk their secret language as they stare at each other across their cribs with such expressive faces.

We are anxiously waiting for them to learn how to walk, so we can spend our days running after them and push the memories of them in the NICU further and further away from the present.

{Happy Birthday, Eva and Zoe)

You are more precious than you'll ever know. 
xoxo Mommy

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So grateful...

I feel like such a dork.  This morning, while I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, I was multi-tasking (as usual) and spoon-feeding the girls as we enjoyed Christmas songs and dances sponsored by the Parade.  I had a moment.  I was watching the silliest kid-friendly performance when it hit me.  I felt a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach, and didn't exactly know why.  Then I realized, I was finally watching something silly for the benefit of my very own children.  This marks the beginning of a whole new era for me.  As I watch them swing and sway to the uptempo music on TV, I feel a sudden joy and pride for my beautiful girls.  I suddenly realize we have many more moments like this to look forward to, and that we are in for one long (and fun) ride.  

Every day I reflect on all we have been through, and all we are blessed with.  Despite everything we endured during my pregnancy and until we brought our sweet angels home, Zoe and Eva are doing just great and impress us more day after day.  I feel my eyes well up the first time I see Eva release her hands from her crib and keep her balance for more than three seconds.  I feel my heart smile every time Zoe looks at me with her mischievous eyes and her little smirk.  I thank God every day I come home to Victor, after he has spent all day balancing house chores and baby duties, while still finding time for himself.

We are so grateful to be where we are today.  One month shy of our babies' first birthday, we have happily settled into our new surroundings, and are ready for the new adventures life brings our way.  We look forward to sharing more of our sweet moments with you, as time goes by.  May you have a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones today.


I guess we gave in to peer pressure for the girls' first Halloween.
Although we didn't participate in trick or treating, we did 'dress them up'.  
Here is the best I could do with limited time and creativity!  ;-D

Monday, October 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Four suitcases, three carry-ons, two carseats, and one stroller later -- we arrived in Florida on Tuesday September 21st, one day shy of the girls' turning nine months old.  Immediately, we took a liking to the much milder weather.  Yes, the humidity is high (especially when compared to Phoenix), but the warm breeze that often blows in your hair is just lovely.

The first week was indeed the toughest.  We spent our first four nights in a rather cramped and musty 'extended stay' hotel, which was really a lot more like a Motel 6 than like the Embassy Suite-like property we were convinced we were moving into, based on their website.  We focused on stocking up on our basic necessities (really, just diapers, formula, and wipies) and on finding a more permanent living arrangement for our little family right away.

After visiting several rental properties with a realtor, we learned that the properties listed with realty agencies were not going to be available soon enough for us, given we needed to find a place to move into immediately since our furniture was scheduled to arrive in less than one week.  We were devastated, since we had spent so much time looking at properties and were really anxious to leave the area and the hotel.  Also, the girls were not sleeping well, and Zoe even ran a high fever one night, probably due to all the stress of running around with us on errands and the increased exposure to public places.  We started our own search and were fortunate enough to find a nice, gated apartment complex less than a mile from my office, and moved into our lakefront apartment on Saturday September 25th -- also Victor's Birthday.


We happily slept on the floor until our furniture arrived on September 29th.  We went to IKEA and bought a comforter to sleep on and a few kitchen necessities to use right away.  The girls quickly settled back into their normal routine and we all slept much better once we were in our new home.  All ten thousand pounds of our furniture were delivered successfully, but we had to take a lot of it to storage since our apartment is much smaller than our home was in Phoenix.  In just about 10 days we had fully unpacked and put everything in its place.  We ordered internet and cable service right away, but we are still without TV due to many servicing problems we've had to deal with.  We now watch our favorite TV shows on the computer, until we get our service installed.

After really settling in, we finally found time to leave the house and explore our new area.  We met up with Phoenix friends, in town for a cruise, for Brunch in Miami last Saturday, and visisted Las Olas Boulevard and the beach last Sunday.  Miami was bustling, as usual, but Las Olas and the beach were just relaxing!  We are only twenty minutes away from the ocean, and it is nice to know we can take the girls there frequently without having to make a day out of it.  Eva and Zoe really enjoyed digging their toes in the sand, and feeling the water splash onto their legs as we held them by the shoreline.

Overall, we have adjusted very well to our new surroundings.  It is just a matter of time before we make new friends and get to know the area better.  Most evenings, we sit outside to feed the girls their last bottle as we watch the sunset over the lake behind us.  Weekends we just enjoy the warm weather and get to take the girls to a park for some fresh air.  We are looking forward to many more days at the beach and to countless nights watching the sunset before putting the girls to bed, and just simply enjoying a show on the actual TV in the near future.  We miss everyone we've left behind and are looking forward to connecting with those we've come closer to, here on the East Coast.  Stay in touch and feel free to leave your comments on our blog.