zekes birthday part 2: the party | two at twenty-two

baby shark doo doo doo doo doo | blogmas day 22 (one day late, almost there)

Do you remember the last time you had a themed birthday party and you asked for the newest and coolest toys? Honestly, it’s been forever. All I want for my birthday these days is sleep and money. Haha. Anyways, I’ve always loved party planning and birthdays. Now that I have some kiddos of my own, I get to plan parties for them, and that’s very exciting.

My oldest little man just turned two years old and so far, all of his birthdays have been a water theme. His baby shower(s) was whales, his first birthday was Moana, and this year it was good ol’ Baby Shark. Thanks to his Tito Paolo and Tito Spencer, Zeke has been absolutely obsessed with Baby Shark. When he’s upset he wants to watch Baby Shark, when he’s eating when he wants to watch Baby Shark, he always wants to watch Baby Shark. He knows how to sing it, he knows how to do the hand motions. So, naturally, we made it the theme.

We found all of the decorations at Party City. The cake was from Sam’s Club as well as some of the food. The rest of the food was made by Zeke’s Lolas and Tita Erin. We had the finger foods everyone still loves: dinosaur chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, and tater tots. The Lolas made Filipino spaghetti, Lumpia, and seafood delight. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Tita Erin made rice krispies in the shape of Legos.

Zeke’s favorite Titos and Titas were in attendance. We don’t have many friends with children yet, but Zeke loved playing with them all the same. Our parties are always a whole day affair with constant eating and just hanging out. Everyone got Zeke Legos and books, so there was no shortage of new goodies to play with.

I can’t stress this enough, but thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has been with us to watch Zeke grow these past two years. All of his Lolos, Lolas, Titos, Titas, Ninongs, and Ninangs, thank you. Your support means the world to us. In the words of Zeke and Pinkfong, “thank you, shark doo doo doo doo doo.”

zeke’s birthday part 1: legoland | two at twenty-two

have you ever stepped on a lego? | blogmas day 21 (two days late, of course)

One of the greatest parts about having babies is that their admission is free to every theme park until they are three years old. If they are anything like me, they’ll be free until they’re five. Even so, we didn’t want to take Zeke to Disney for his birthday because we were worried he wouldn’t like it and we’d have spent all that money just to leave after an hour. Last year, we went to Sea World and it was a bust. Not only was it raining and the park closed early, but Zeke just wasn’t that into it.

This year, we found the next best thing: Legoland. It was actually perfect. Zeke was still a little too short to ride most of the rides, but he still had a blast. They have so much interactive areas of the park geared towards young children. I mean, what’s Legoland without a bunch of Legos lying around for you to play with? We let Zeke loose and guide us wherever he wanted to go.

Our first stop in the park was guest services to get Zeke a birthday pin which he proudly wore, until it hindered his running so we took it off. They have an all you can eat pizza, pasta, and salad buffet. Let me repeat. All you can eat pizza, pasta, and salad. He even got a dessert pizza all to himself for his birthday. He kind of liked it.

He loved Miniland USA and tried to climb over the barriers to play with the mini cities made of Legos. Essentially, he wanted to be Godzilla. In Lego City, we found a toddler play area where he went up and down the slide over and over again. He ran to the Lego safari and went on a ride with his dad to see Lego lions, zebras, and elephants. In the imagination/building zone, he did just that: build, build, build. There was even a little area with animated fish. He was all about that.

We were there the whole day, which is a success all on its own. Zeke was even able to nap in the middle of the day, so he was in a good mood the whole time. At the end, he played in a jungle gym designated for 2-12 year olds (because he’s two years old!!), and he saw Lego Santa Clause. All in all, it was an awesome experience only 45 minutes from our home in Lakeland.

zeke is two years old! | two at twenty-two

zeke is currently obsessed with baby shark, legos (but only the duplo squares), and farting. | blogmas day 20

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20181222133320406_COVERI am truly in awe. Somehow, some way, Donald and I have raised a two year old. It has been so very hard but so much fun getting to this point. Just to show you all how much toddlers can change in only one year, let’s take a look at Zeke’s second year in months. To start us off, on your left, is a photo of Zeke on his first birthday. He had only been walking for a few weeks and was absolutely obsessed with Moana and Coco.

 

IMG_20190126_210521Zeke at thirteen months. I know this isn’t the best quality photo, but really it is. Zeke has been so silly always and this photo shows no different. One thing that I always love is watching Zeke interacting with other people and being absolutely ridiculous.

 

 

 

IMG957604At fourteen months, this is what Zeke wore for his Baby Gator school photos. One thing about moving out of Gainesville that we absolutely miss is Baby Gator. He had such a great time and learned so many valuable skills. I really think it helped him a lot in developing to who he is now.

 

 

IMG_20190319_211555

Fifteen months. This photo was taken inside Turlington Hall at UF. Zeke is so smart. Right now at two years old, he’s definitely a parrot and repeats whatever we say to him. He knows his colors, letters, animals and the noises they make. He can also confidently to 10 and to 20 with help.

 

 

Sunflower FB (13 of 51)During his sixteenth month, we announced that I was pregnant with Zeke’s little brother. After that, we did our very best to have as much fun with Zeke as we could. The last thing we want is for Zeke to feel left behind because of a second baby. To this day, we still try to find time to give him Zeke-only adventures.

 

 

FullSizeRenderSeventeen months old and he’s already living life in the fast lane. I don’t remember if he was running quite yet at this month, but he definitely is now. With him it’s either running or jumping, there’s no in-between. It gets to the point where we have to remind him to walk. The problem is that when we tell him to walk, he concentrates so hard on it that he forgets what he was doing and where he was going in the first place. What a silly man.

 

MVIMG_20190623_191103At eighteen months, he apparently thought he was either too cool for school or discovered his inner model. Either option is very true. I remember his Baby Gator teachers telling us he was kind of the ring leader of his class in terms of silliness. He’s going to be a class clown for sure.

 

 

FB_IMG_1563742701941On his nineteen month birthday, Donald and I said our marriage vows. In the beginning, it was Zeke who helped us strengthen our relationship until we were finally ready to say “I do”. We didn’t want to get married just because we had Zeke. We wanted it to be because we love each other truly. And, I mean, here we are. 🙂

 

 

IMG_20190823_162723Zeke’s twentieth month was his first month-birthday after moving away from Gainesville. It was a hard transition. He started to wake up in the middle of the night and the routines we established in Gainesville went away. However, this is Zeke we’re talking about, and he was still a happy guy. It got a lot better until Theo was born. But we’ll get to that.

 

IMG_8094Twenty-one months. I think Zeke is going to be a chef. He loves to play with his kitchen toys and loves to be in the kitchen when someone is cooking. Donald likes to put a stool next to the stove so Zeke can watch what he’s doing. He also likes to help Lola bake.

 

 

 

20191020Theo B005The day before Zeke turned twenty-two months, his brother was born. He was, and still kind of is, jealous of him. Zeke is a trooper, though. He went through a lot of change in a few short months, but he’s been doing so well. He did regress a little bit, and he can tell the attention is divided. We make sure he has Zeke-only fun and time with us.

 

 

img_9951This photo at twenty-three months  shows how much he copies things other people do. He is also a parrot and will repeat everything you say. He has learned so many words that way. Friends please censor yourselves ok. Seriously. I guess he sees that I have my nails done all the time, so he created nails of his own. He really is my son.

 

 

IMG_7424 2And, finally… Today is two years!!! He loves to build, organize, and put things in a line. We took him to Legoland Florida to satisfy all of these needs. We let him guide us wherever he wanted to go in the park. He had a really great time running around and building things. He also went on a safari ride and saw a bunch of animals made out of legos.

 

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported us and loved Zeke these past two years. He loves to play with all of his titos, titas, lolos, and lolas. That time for him is invaluable. Here’s to watching him grow so much more!!

Keep scrolling for an assortment of photos from this year. 🙂 

the second month | two at twenty-two

theo’s second month favorites: still mom’s boob, screaming bloody murder, and tracking daddy. | blogmas day 19

I can’t believe the littlest nugget is two months old already. I don’t think I need to tell you that time flies so quickly. Personally, I feel great physically. I’m just very tired all of the time. We’ve gotten a better hang of this whole parents-of-two thing which mainly came with remembering how to handle an infant.

Donald finished his semester on December 6th, and the next day is when our mini vacay (read all about it here) took off. Traveling with him actually was not so bad. It helped that we stayed at Ate Mawi’s house instead of a hotel because it felt like home rather a vacation spot. He’s gotten better with his car seat, so we only had to stop a few times on the way to feed him. Other than that he was sleeping. I have also gotten better at breastfeeding in public. It’s still hard, though. Definitely hard.

On the Zeke-is-jealous front, we’re still working on it. He’s doing better. He at least acknowledges that there is a baby in his presence. Sometimes he’ll kiss Theo if we ask him, but his jealousy is still evident. He tries to pull me away when I’m in the middle of feeding or holding Theo. I have more strength now to get up and walk around while holding Theo, which makes things a little easier, but I can tell when Zeke gets sad around Theo.

He is still a little needy sometimes, but that’s getting better, too. There are days when all he wants to do is be carried. Those days are the hardest because I’m not able to get anything done. Although it’s necessary to just relax for a day, it makes me feel bad when there are lots of days like that.

Developmentally, Theo is doing great. As of his doctor’s appointment earlier today, he now weighs 11 pounds 3 ounces. Honestly, I think a majority of that is in his head because it feels so dense. He is 22 inches tall with a head circumference of 29 centimeters. He can officially fly on a plane because he got his first round of vaccines.

He still only sleeps 2-3 hours, sometimes four, at a time. He is beginning to coo and track movements. He has discovered that his hands are a thing and still loves to be tapped on the butt. He rolled over once, and that was cool. He is so, so loud. I mean he sounds like he’s being stabbed, loud. He spits up almost all the food he eats but still poops up a storm.

Here’s to a fun month three!

 

the first month | two at twenty-two

theo’s first month favorites include: mom’s boob, waking up every two hours, and farting on kuya zeke.

“It’s easier the second time around.”

This is both a fat lie and the honest truth. While, yes, I have experience from raising Zeke, caring for a newborn and also figuring out what to do with a toddler is a whole different ball game. To say that this first month has been one of the most difficult things in my life is a massive understatement. Just now, I had to take a break from writing this because my newborn seems to be cluster-feeding and almost refuses to let me put him down, and my toddler tripped and hit his face on a plastic chair. I would be lying if I said that I don’t want to pull my hair out at the sound of them screaming at the same time. It has definitely been a learning and growing experience for myself and Donald, who is also currently enrolled in Florida Southern’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Elijah Theodore–aka Theo–decided he didn’t want to come out the normal way. The first two weeks were definitely a struggle as I recovered from a caesarean section–a whole separate post will be coming about that because wow, just wow. My mobility from the surgery was at an all time low. Everything from sitting up in bed to standing up straight was just hard. I’m fully breast feeding, so I had to get up and feed Theo almost every two hours, give or take half an hour or so. This left me with almost no energy to do anything with Zeke. After I got my dressing removed and my staples out, I was able to start getting up a little easier and walking around more. Although my incision was completely healed, I couldn’t fool myself because my muscles still had a long way to go.

It wasn’t all bad, though. We were blessed enough to have some combination of family with us for a majority of this first month. In the first week, Donald’s older brother, Paolo, and his husband, Spencer, stayed with us. My sister, Erin, spent Theo’s third week here, and Donald’s other siblings, Mawi and Mickey, came for a weekend somewhere in there. Since my mom works from home, she was able to help us out during the breaks between visitors. On top of all that, we only live 15 minutes away from Donald’s parents, so they are always there to lend a hand in a pinch. I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to everyone for lifting a massive weight off my shoulders by helping me with Zeke during my initial recovery period.

We all know Zeke. He will be two in December. We thought he’d beat the odds against the terrible two’s but boy were we wrong. It doesn’t help that the poor thing seems to be jealous of his new baby brother. It gets tricky sometimes because when he sees one of us with Theo, he will begin to whine to get our attention. Now that I’m on my own with the two of them during the day while Donald is at school, I’ve been trying to teach him how to take turns by telling him that it’s Theo’s turn when he’s hungry or needs a diaper change. On the flip side, I try to make a show of telling Theo that it’s Zeke’s turn. I’m not very consistent with this yet, but hopefully it will start to work over time. Despite his initial apprehensiveness and jealousy, we’ve begun to see Zeke’s growing affection towards Theo.

The number one person at my side in all this is obviously Donald. He is a true rockstar figuring out how to balance grad school and being a father of two. It hasn’t been easy for him at all, but that’s his story to tell. I can say that even though we see each other every day, I honestly miss him. I love spending time with him and the kiddos, but we hardly get time for one another. That being said, the few times we’ve been able to go out just the two of us have been awesome. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be sane. My mental health has not been the best these past few weeks, but knowing that we have the other to lean on and to share this journey with has made all the difference.

Now that I’m almost healed and this first month is over, I have come to the following conclusions/opinions:

  1. C-section recovery is actually so much better than from a normal delivery.
  2. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard.
  3. Self-care is VERY important when you now have two children vying for your attention.
  4. I married a super hero.
  5. Writing is a great outlet that makes your brain work when a majority of your day is spent listening to Baby Shark.

 

Here’s to hoping month two will get a little easier.

P.S. Shout out to you for making it this far in my first blog in a long time. I know it was rough, it’ll get better I promise.

 

 

The Moment I Chose Life

Hello, my dear friends and family!

To be completely honest, I don’t know how to blog. I’ve tried, and it just doesn’t work out; I fail to keep up with it, I never know what to write about. But I have some things I would like to share with everyone, and it’s become too difficult to sit everyone down individually and give them my life update. I figured this way, everyone will still hear my side of the story, even if not personally from my voice.

To begin, those of you who know me might not even know me that well. I find it difficult to open up to people, and it has nothing to do with the people I talk to. It’s always been a personal attribute I’ve tried a long time to combat. I’ve put on a strong front for a very long time and rarely allowed anyone to see my emotional instability and vulnerability. For these reasons, no one ever saw me struggle, and, in turn, I never asked anyone for help. It’s something that led to my academic failure my first semester at the University of Florida in 2015. I never admitted to anyone that I was having difficulties. I never even admitted it to myself.

Fast forward to the beginning of Summer 2017. I stayed in Gainesville for work, so I spent a lot of my time alone since a lot of my friends went home for the summer. I had a lot of time to reflect on myself and the life I had led up to that point. What stuck out to me the most was how selfishly I was living. Through everything I did I only had my best interests in mind. I grew up knowing that I must live my life according to God’s plan, but I had made it my own instead.

Alright. This is where things reveal themselves. Despite straying from His plan so often, our God is so great he continued to shower me with blessings. I was made aware of an amazing blessing mid-May on the day Donald left for Israel: I’m going to be a mother. Initially, I had no idea how to react. I was alone in Gainesville, Donald was on a plane to Israel, and this was a new situation that no one close to me (other than my mom of course lol.) had ever gone through.

When Donald came home from Israel, it didn’t get any easier. We were both lost individually and it led to even more confusion when we came together. It got to a point where we were having discussions about whether or not to keep the baby, what would we do if we did, what would happen if we didn’t. It was hard and there were a lot of tears. We didn’t even know if we were going to stay together. But there was something I knew for certain before I saw Donald in person for the first time: keeping the baby is the right thing to do. We spent a lot of time discerning on our own and openly discussing everything, and I’d like to say that now our relationship is getting stronger and stronger every day.

It was a long time coming, but I have finally been able to accept the blessing God gave me for what it is and I am very excited!! My main reason for writing/starting this blog is to share my excitement with all of you. Our little peanut is due January 1, 2018 (#NewYearsBaby lol), and it’s a boy!  I can’t tell you how hard it is for me NOT to talk about this 24/7. Also, baby fever is very, very real.

With the shock of it all, at first it seemed like this was the end of the world. However, my life is going to continue. I have a lot to live for now. I have a full time job that I love as a medical lab assistant at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. I’m pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Healthcare Management online at the Florida Institute of Technology. I’m learning to budget my time and money a lot better. And most of all, I’m continuing to nourish my relationship with God. I know now more than ever that I need to follow His will, His plan for me and this baby.

I understand that our situation may spark some controversial reactions, and I don’t expect any specific reaction from anyone. This is an extremely life-changing situation for Donald and I, and even for our families, so we just want to share it with everyone. We humbly ask for your prayers as we continue this journey towards parenthood. We thank you in advanced for any support you lend us, and we will be praying for all of you as well. We will keep you updated along the way!

I have much love for you all,

Meg (:

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 10.30.44 PM