My 2021 Round Up

It's 2022, let that sink in for a moment. 2021 has come and gone, but I wanted to do a 2021 round up to commemorate milestones, experiences and changes that have happened last year. (I'm still not used to calling it "last year" Hehe!)

Bonding with the Kids

It has been 2 years since giving birth to my twins, and well, for most of those years, we were just stuck at home. Robyn has also been home due to the pandemic. She's in class in the mornings and joins us in the afternoon after her homework. I feel accomplished every end of the day seeing that my kids are thriving and are doing well, and most importantly, are safe and healthy. Obviously, it's more tiring most days than relaxing. And having twins and being hands on reduces my free time greatly, but I'm so thankful for my support system for helping me out if I need a breather every now and then. 

Robyn's Surprise Birthday Party

Robyn's 8th birthday party was a complete surprise. I wanted to surprise her with a little decor and with the help of my sister, Dane, we were able to pull it off! She has been doing so well in school and she's such a great big sister, that I wanted her to feel special on her birthday. I invited my side of the family. They skipped work, just to be with us on Ro's birthday. Ro was so happy and said it's the best birthday ever. Thanks Dane for the help!

Finding Support from Fellow CI Parents

Since learning about Nia's hearing loss, I stated researching and finding local resources about her condition. Eventually I was led to the Philippine Cochlear Implant Support Group. I attended their "coffee dates" where CI parents such as myself can just share stories, ask questions etc. This has been such a life saver for me. I learned so much from them and most importantly, I learned that we are not alone.

Deciding to Be Strong

If you have read my posts on #calears, you'd know that I struggled accepting Nia's hearing loss. Coming from a hearing family, it just seemed impossible. But I had to accept the reality and move forward. I decided to be strong for her because she, honestly, taught me to be stronger than I've ever been before. I love all my kids with every inch of me, but Nia definitely opened up that inner strength that I did not know I have.

Celebrating Life

This pandemic has stolen so much from us. I've lost family and friends. And one thing I learned is to celebrate life, to be grateful that everyday we are alive. Be thankful for what we have and the safety God has enveloped us in.

Nothing hurts more than seeing your Child get hurt

For Nia's requirements for her cochlear implant surgery, she had to undergo lab tests. It was a grueling experience to say the least. My daughter also tested positive during this time. And whatever pain I went through before, it's nothing compared to seeing my 1 year old daughter in pain. Every blood extraction, everytime somebody touches her, she cries helplessly, asking for us to protect her. It hurt everytime, it hurt my soul, deep deep down. Remembering it now still hurts me.

Little Bit of Hope

June started to show a little bit of hope. Nia's cochlear implant was finally switched on, which meant that her journey to hearing has officially started. Vaccinations for Covid also started in the Philippines and both my husband and I got our first dose. Our business also finally started to improve. 2020 really really really hit us hard financially. I remember crying because I knew my husband was so low and I couldn't do anything about it. We all had to tighten our belts and hope for the better. Halfway through the year, days got better and I could tell people were starting to adapt to the new normal.

Family Day Out

We also decided to bring the kids out. It was not an easy decision. I was still very OA and skeptic. My husband also very careful. But we knew the kids needed a breath of fresh air and we saw that the pandemic was really starting to affect Robyn too. So we decided to go to a place in Tagaytay. We just had snacks and let the kids walk around, with us making sure we follow all the safety protocols.

Fully Vaccinated and Proud

When we got fully vaccinated, there was a feeling of peace in my heart. I knew it didn't mean that I can't get the virus nor does it mean that I can't be a carrier. But it meant that I was protecting myself from "dying" (yes let's go that extent), and leaving my little kids alone. Both my husband and I felt to elated after getting vaccinated. We were just so happy. I remember not understanding why other people choose not to get vaccinated. Why? But what matters is the people that matters to me most are protected and we look forward to vaccinations being available safely to our kids too.

Welcoming the Family

Mid-year, my parents, grandma and sister also moved houses and they moved to the same village as ours. Talk about dreams becoming a reality. I grew up living next door to my grandma and my aunts and cousin, so we grew really close to each other. When I got married, I lived so far away from them. It was an adjustment, since I'm close to my family. I remember thinking how great it would be if my parents were just next door (just like old times). It was a dream, I didn't think much of it, because I knew we lived far from each other. And then the opportunity came, they could finally move to another place and they decided to move to our village to also be close to us. *ugly cry* I was sooooo happy and was so excited when they started preparing their move. And in August, we had a small celebration at home for my Amma's birthday. It was also a nice welcome home! to my family.

Breastfeeding my Twins

Breastfeeding twins is not easy. I repeat, it is not easy. But it is sooo worth it.  It's been 2 years! There were days I wanted to wean them, or I'd silently scheduling weaning them, but all the benefits I see outweigh this chore. Especially with the pandemic, and being vaccinated, I know I'm somehow also giving some antibodies to Niko and Nia. Now that they're toddlers, tandem feeding has just become a circus, sometimes painful too. But seeing them healthy is what gets me going, and what keeps my milk flowing. 

Proud of Papa all day everyday

H's new projects also started this year and even though the kids and I are stuck at home, we are always so proud of him. Every feature, every guesting, we try to catch. He's a very hard worker and he always looks for new projects after finishing one. He says he wants to make sure that our children will be okay when both him and I are older or gone. I got lucky, didn't I?

12th Wedding Anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. We always say it feels weird that it's been 12 years! We've known each other half my life and I couldn't imagine life without him. I'm so happy that we found each other and are genuinely happy. We were able to have a lunch date out at H's favorite restaurant, thanks to my folks for looking after the kids.

Just Keep Swimming

My family also went to a resort! After months and months of researching and trying to find a place where we can chill and my kids can swim, I found one in Antipolo. Best of all? We were the only ones swimming when we went there. My side of the family also went us so it was even merrier. The kids have always loved swimming (Niko and Nia's first time was in my MIL's clubhouse early 2021 and Robyn finished her swimming lessons last 2019 before the pandemic), so bringing them to a pool or a resort was a sure hit.

Zoom Parties

Robyn attended her first Zoom party last September. It was my goddaughter's birthday and she was a huge fan of BTS so her party was BTS themed, hence the BTS logo I put on Ro's face. She also wear a tie die shirt to recreate the pastel colors of BTS' Dynamite video.

Another simple Zoom party was my friend's Baby Shower. She lives in Canada with her family so we ordered her baby shower gift through Amazon and good thing it got to her just in time for our little baby shower. She finally has a boy after 2 girls. :)

Have Courage but Be Safe

Last November, kids were finally allowed out of the house! Since it's been so long since we went out, we decided to bring the kids out to a mall. Niko and Nia have never been to a mall before, ever since they were born. And we are a family of mall goers, so it was honestly so nice to finally be able to bring them to a place where we usually hang out. My husband and I both decided that we can go, but we made sure to follow safety protocols. It was a quick stroll and dinner. It was exhausting but it's memorable. First time going to the mall with twins.

First Live Stream

Also got my first live stream gig! Zenutrients invited me to host their live stream on Shopee for the Tita's Holiday Gift Guide series. And as an official tita, I knew I'd be able to share my tips and impart wisdom to the youngsters. Haha! I hope I did well, I had an awesome time and hopefully I get to do it again next time.

Nia's Improvement and Development

We always think about Nia's development. As parents of a child with disability, you always wonder, you always question, you always pray. Last November, we got the result of her hearing test and it showed that her CI side (the one that it's implanted) is already in the "normal range". Her hearing aid side is also in the normal range. Both ears can still improve so we continue therapy. And we continue praying that both her and her brother start talking soon.

Niko's Development

Niko surprised me when he demonstrated that he knows the alphabet already at age 1 1/2. Unlike Nia, I don't really pressure Niko so much. I just read to him, talk to him, just normal. So I was so impressed when he showed me that he actually understands. He talks more now too. He loves playing with Achi and Shobe. And I love it when he starts calling us one by one. Papa, Mama, Achi, A-ia (Nia). Sooo cute! 

Play Date with the Kids

After a year, we finally saw our friends again. Last time we saw them, Niko and Nia were just a month We finally decided to meet up in one of my friend's house just so we're staying safe and staying away from strangers. It was also easier to manage because we were in an enclosed environment. And with running toddlers like mine, I just can't. Haha! It was so refreshing seeing them again and chatting away. And for the kids to be playing together. Niko felt right at home and he enjoyed playing with the boys. Nia was shy at first but opened up eventually, just like how Achi was when she was younger.

Beans In A Pod PH

For the love of coffee. Hehe! This year, I started really taking coffee drinking more seriously. It has become my little me time. After lunch, I just try to savor the caffeine because I need it. Haha! I decided to start selling coffee capsules and pods via Beans In A Pod PH. Currently, we carry 11 brands from all over the world. We offer a wide variety of flavors because when I started with my coffee journey, I really enjoyed trying out different flavors to find what my favorites were.

Little Yum Cha and Beans In A Pod PH for Good Food, Good Mood

Don't you agree when you eat good food, it instantly improves your mood? Well that's it does to me. Little Yum Cha celebrated its first year anniversary and we started Beans In A Pod PH. We're open to resellers and distributors too. Rest assured, all of the products pass our standards. Hehe! So cute how Ro helps me pack orders too and how my husband delivers to nearby customers. It sure is team work.

Girls' Day Out with Achi

When I was pregnant with the twins, I've always imagined having a day for each of the children. One would be for Ro only, another for Niko, another for Nia. Just so we get to have a "date day" with each one of them. Then the pandemic happened. :( Ro and I used to have Girls Day or Girls Time so I was so happy to finally be able to do that. We wen out, shopped a little (she needed new clothes), bought Christmas presents and ate at her favorite restaurants. It was a really good day. One I wish we can have again soon. 

This is 36.

This year I turn 36. I gotta say, I feel different. I'm not my usual giddy excited self on my birthday. I was still happy and grateful but perhaps, the year, changed me. I didn't feel as special as before and all I really wished for was to keep my loved ones safe and healthy, and for this pandemic to be over. Does it mean I'm getting older? Forgetting the magic of birthdays? I don't know. All I know is this year, I didn't see it as the glitzy special day I'm used to.

Just Us Five

It's different when it's just us 5. We enjoy going out just us, even though we know it will be sooo exhausting. I'd see my husband looking exasperated and so drained at the end of the day. I'd also be tired out of my mind, and Robyn too. But there's something about being just us 5 going out, seeing stuff and exploring. I miss it. I miss the old normal but I also understand that we have to look forward to what's to come and adapt to how things are now.

Christmas Photos

I told my husband that all I want for Christmas is new family photos. We have this tradition where we put a photo of the family every year as a Christmas ornament. And last 2020, we were photographed professionally for the twins' 1st birthday and family photo. I want to continue that. And since I didn't want to enter a studio just yet, and I didn't want to spend especially because Niko and Nia are still on their active toddler kulit phase, I asked my sister, Lianne, to take our photos. I wanted it outdoors, just simple layouts we can use as our Christmas ornament photo. I'm really happy with the photos. Thanks Li!

Niko and Nia are 2
We survived two years of twinhood! Niko and Nia turned 2 last December 27 and I am just so proud of them. I love seeing them play together, interact with each other, babble with one another. It makes me sooo happy. I'm excited to see what the next year brings. Praying that they continue their development and for Nia to hit each milestone. Robyn has also been so responsible, she actually looks after the babies when H and I need to go on a grocery run or have an errand to do. She looks after the babies very well.

To a Better 2022

I've always been optimistic and it hasn't changed. So what do I look forward to this 2022? For things to be better. For everything to better. If it doesn't? Then we continue striving and praying for a better future. Let's hold on to that hope, hold on to that goal. And have faith that God listens. 

Happy 2022 Everyone!

Thanks for reading!

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