Sunday, December 21, 2008

A weekend of Firsts!!

We experienced quite a few firsts this weekend all beginning with the girls' 7 month mark on Friday December 19th!
The morning of their 7 month birthday :)

I have to note that this month Cati seems so amused by her doll showing big giant smiles when I show her the plush lovable blond doll. And seems to be amused with her & she can be entertained by the rather plain doll for a pretty long time.


This week we had our first snowfall of the season & I managed to get out right after I put the girls to bad to catch a quick snapshot of the occasion. It was very peaceful & sweet I thought. Later this weekend we got pummeled by more snow on Friday and what was initially welcomed with great awe & novelty is now turning into a huge headache.


And finally we got celebrate a birthday for my first little girl...TOPAZ! She is now 4 years old and a grown up in dog years. AAAHHH it's all happening way too fast. We had a small celebration for her & her birthday gift consisted of some yummy organic all beef hotdogs. And yes, she got everything she wanted for her birthday.

Tired Topaz

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Time Flies!!!




As the official holidays are upon us I'm realizing that it's all happening so fast! I've heard one too many times..."Enjoy it! They grow up so quickly." But I'm seeing that's it's so true. My once little peanuts are these large active munchkins! SHOCK! What happened to my tiny barely mobile preemies?? It kind of makes me a little sad. I'll probably repeat this story over & over again but whatever. I remember bringing them home in this oversized car seat & watching to see if they were okay at every turn during our 30 minute journey home. And they slept ever so still all the way home. They were so delicate back then...weighing in at barely 4lbs each after 10 days in the NICU.

Now they're a wopping 15lbs which is more then tripled their birth weight! And they wiggle all the time. They can barely keep still for more then 30 seconds on my lap. They twist & turn during the diaper change kicking their legs up in the air so you get all the Desitin everywhere but on their bottom where it belongs. They laugh & giggle & scream out vowels. Catalina is starting to use some consonants in her yodeling sessions lately. She also looks like she's on the verge of a real crawl not the scooting she now does on her back or on her elbows. Valentina is the a literal jumping bean & I swear she must have the strongest little legs. Could we have a gymnast on our hands? Or perhaps a WNBA star :) AAAAAHHH every mother's dream!

The girls turn 7 months next week & I sit & wonder where did it all go?? When did it all happen?? Will I have time to do all the things I want to do with them before they're off to college??

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our 1st Halloween!!

This is the first of many foolish & ridiculous Halloween antic!! I can't wait!!

Click to play Fright Night
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I bet my friends are tired of me texting them all night! OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA!!

But I woke up this morning & rubbed my eyes to make sure I hadn't dreamt it all. I looked for the paper on the driveway & there it was in BIG BLACK LETTERS...OBAMA Racial Barrier Falls In Decisive Victory. Need I say more that November 4th 2008 will go down in history. And we were here & we witnessed this historic event. It's not a story told to us by grandparents, teachers, and history books. It is a real life event for us! My daughters were here & will be a part of this momentus time in history. Their first years of their life will be under the very first black president of the United States. I'm shocked and overwhelmed and it's even difficult to find the words. But I have a renewed sense of hope and inspiration for the future of this country. As a parent I am relieved, there's hope for a bright future that my girls can look forward to. I wonder if they will ever know just HOW BIG this is? I wonder if they will ever know what a phenomenal moment in history this is? I wonder if they will appreciate that in 2008 the year they were born America CHANGED forever. This country would never be the same again. I wonder if they realize that this was never expected in OUR lifetime.

To my daughters Catalina and Valentina: November 4th 2008, you were 5 months old. Your dad & I took the day off because something in our hearts told us that today would be an extra special day. We didn't know it that day when we woke up but by the time we went to bed we found ourselves unable to fall asleep from all of the excitement. The events of that day will never be forgotten. It was a day of many firsts. We took you both to our voting location. It was a warm Indian summer day in November. We decided that we were going to vote as a family so we took the nice walk over to Bergenfield High School. We even joked that one day you both may be coming here to vote in just 17 years! :) As we walked toward the school we saw others taking time out of their work day to come & vote. As we walked into the hall everyone had something to say to us about the twins coming to vote. We smiled and thanked them for the compliments and moved on to the business at hand. Your dad & I signed in and walked behind the curtains to cast our ballots. I remember feeling so anxious and nervous as we walked out. Your dad & I smiled congratulated each other and the both of you on your very first presidential election vote! We walked out as though our vote today meant something more then any other vote we'd ever cast in the past. You see this year, 2008, was one of the most unprecedented presidential races we'd ever seen. And today we knew that all of the hard work these candidates had experienced the last 22 months would come to an end. At that moment the end was so uncertain. We talked about how we would describe this day to the two of you. We talked about how we would recount the day's events and really were so excited that we could sit you down & tell you all about day. We got back home to check out the news on the TV and your dad decided he couldn't watch anymore until at least 6pm which is when some Indiana polls would close. So we distracted ourselves with other obligations for the day. We took you both to the doctors for your 5 month visit & you got your polio vaccine. Like good girls you didn't cry much & the doctor said you were doing WONDERFULLY!! Cati weighed 13lbs 8oz and Val weighed 13lbs 6oz and you both were over 25 inches long. We took you to do some shopping & had dinner at Applebees before heading back home. I kept thinking if my babies weren't so small we'd be somewhere with a large crowd to watch the results come in. But here you were so we planned out the last feeding for you that night & we were anxious to put you to bed soon! As we got your ready for bed Valentina decided this would be HER day in history too!!! One minute you were on your back & the next minute you decided to roll over on your belly for the first time. I bet it was all the excitement of the day. Your dad & I laughed and cheered as we celebrated your milestone. After all the excitement you both went to bed without much fuss. And like never before you slept soundly despite all of the yelling & laughing & talking we did most of the night. While you slept we watched this incredible orator take over the night in a race never before seen in hisotry since the days of Abraham Lincoln. We watched the news without flinching and struggling to stay awake because THIS night would be a special night for sure. Our nerves worked us through a ton of left over Halloween candy & ice cream! We watching diligently as state by state got announced blue or red. First big one New Hampshire, Vermont, the beginning of the end was nearing when Pennsylvania got announced blue, Orlando county in Florida was looking like it was going blue too. Virginia was being announced as a race too close to call and North Carlonia looked like it was going blue too. The whole northeast was now blue. Ohio results coming in was looking like blue too! Florida still too close to call but the blue was leading. As 10pm rolled in we couldn't help get excited but were too scared (like the media) to celebrate too soon. I was dozing off when your dad yelled "get up get up this is it! California polls are closing in a minute" And then I saw it on the big screen...CNN PROJECTS Senator Obama PRESIDENT ELECT! And that's how history was made.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It happened!

The unthinkable happened yesterday!! I had heard some stories about this & thought to myself, gosh I hope MY girls never do anything like this. Well it didn't actually happen to me per se, but it happened to Jorge. As we prepared for our nightly ritual....feeding of solids followed by a bottle followed by a nice soothing bath & then lotion massage & down for the night...the unthinkable grossest thing I'd ever seen happened!

I'm at the bottom of the stairs trying to understand what the heck Jorge was yelling about. All he kept saying was "I need your help!" Why, I asked. You give baths all the time. UUGGGHH annoyed mom goes up to the girls bathroom with Valentina in my arms. I opened the door to find my husband with my naked smiling daughter in his arms and thought what's the problem? Until he said..."what's the proper way to get poop out of the tub!" EEEEEWWWWW!!!!!

Yes, my daughter was so relaxed she pooped in her tub :shock & awe: The answer to his question was, "I don't know!" So I grabbed some toilet paper and attempted to scoop out the poop. Honestly I'd rather pick up my dogs' poop 100x over this. So I proceeded to dump out the poop & the water only to realize the poop did not stay in one piece & it was now in the tub. The tub which was now backed up. The tub which now had a veerrrry sloooow drain...double EEEEWWW. Yes the poop was just there floating in what seemed to be a still pond in my bathroom. Think quick! I still need to bathe these girls & put them to bed. SO we finished up the process in the sink while Cati had a diaper put on her so she could finish her business. I swear she was in a much more joyful mood then usual. If I didn't know better I would think she new EXACTLY what she did & was secretly amused by the whole ordeal.

I asked Jorge if he wanted to capture the dreadful act and take a picture. His response was an emphatic NO. So the next best thing was to take a pic of the culprit involved :)

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Life in the world of solids...

The girls will be 5 months old on Sunday...I can't believe how quickly time is passing.
Cati tasting Strawberries
Val loving her new found solids!!
I'm so incredibly excited to celebrate their very 1st holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years!! You can ask Jorge and he will confirm that these are BIG for me! I've always enjoyed celebrating them and have started traditions in our house ever since we started dating. For Halloween, I've managed to have him dress up at least ONCE. For Thanksgiving we have hosted it at our house a few times. And when we don't host it we make our own turkey at home & celebrate Thanksgiving again "just us." And Christmas is just No Holds Barred...decorations, baking, cooking, fresh trees, wreaths, carols, etc. etc. I luv luv luv Christmas so much that I get so depressed when it's over. New Year's is not as exciting but still I love watching the ball drop & kissing my sweety at midnight...hee hee!

Anyhow, all this to say that I am so looking forward to the holidays with the girls. So first up is Halloween & I decided they will be Lady Bugs mostly because it was on sale & looked comfy. It's made by Carters in the form of a sleep/play PJ and warm and cozy. SO I'm looking for a bug-type outfit for me and dad. I'm thinking we can be bumble bees or something.

SO back to the topic on the title of this post...boy did I go off on a tangent. My girls started solids when they turned 4 months, cereal, which to me is not really solids. The girls had a rough time with rice cereal (constipation...yuck!) so we decided despite my reservations about this, to add it to their bottles which worked out much better. Mommy has decided to make our own baby food. This sounds crazy even to me. Anyhow I've read up a bunch of books & asked around with some friends. As it turns out, a handful of friends make their own food for their kids. That was so shocking to me! So we ventured into the veggies world and I made a batch of steamed sweet potatoes. And the results were BIG HIT!! The girls just gobbled it up like they've been eating it for years :look of shock: I kept thinking to myself, where did they learn how to eat? Valentina protests when there's no more and Cati knows she must open her mouth when the spoon is approaching. I found all of this so amusing. They are doing great with the eating process and actually seemed more satisfied after a feeding with real solids. So I'm going to introduce them to oatmeal (fed by spoon) this weekend. This means they will be having 2 real meals along with 4 bottle feedings of 7 oz....are they monsters or what??!!! Man these girls can EAT!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Our 4 month montage..

I guess it's late but it is. Our girls 4th month and all its precious moments :)

Click to play Cati & Val 4 months
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our 1st Family Portrait

My daughters turn 4 months tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'm still hormonal but it does make me a little teary eyed when I see how much they have grown. I remember how devastating it was to see them in the Neonatal ICU. How much I cried when I had to leave them in the hospital after I was discharged. I'm sure I will recount this story many many times but it's been 4 months already & it seems like it was yesterday.

I wonder if they will ever understand how much they were wanted and how much they are loved. Will they ever know how I tire myself day after day trying to do what is only the very best for them? Every decision I make in my life I think about how it will impact them. I analyze over & over again and wonder if I'm doing the right thing. Deciding their care while I go to work has caused me such incredible anxiety because there is nothing more I would want then to stay home with them myself. But unfortunately I have to sacrifice my precious time with them so that I can provide for them. UUUGGHH...I know I'm not alone here. I realize that I'm not the first or last mom that with a heavy heart leaves their child behind entrusting them with someone else & praying that she's made the right decision for her child. Alas we'll never know. Not now anyways. I know that every decision I make for them will determine the adults they will become. I only have one chance at this...and terrifies me that I might screw it up.

I've always been pretty confident in my decisions. I know what I've wanted out of my career, my relationship, my home, BUT this is a whole new territory of uncertainty for me. If there is one thing that I've promised myself is that I will tell my little girls every day how much I do love them. Even if I make mistakes along the way my love for them is beyond what words can describe.

My babies were 6 weeks old in this picture.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our blessed day...

I'm late with my post this week but for good reason. I wanted to blog about my daughters' baptism which occurred on Sunday August 30th. It was such an incredible day for us not only because our girls were officially joining our church but also because we were surrounded by the people we love & who love us most!

The girls did really well at church after what proved to be a very stressful day for this penguin mom (sigh). It's so hard to balance out the needs of your children with the obligations of our lives. I was so incredibly distressed about the girls being too wound up & hoping they wouldn't be too tired from the day's events that would prompt a "meltdown". In the end they proved to me again how reslient these little girls are. They totally made me look great..."what well behaved babies you have" were the resounding comments of the day. Although it had nothing to do with me!! It was a beautiful ceremony with lots of special moments so I thought I'd share a few.

We have a special relationship with the priest who baptized the girls. You see, he confirmed Jorge before we got married and he also married us on this special weekend 3 years ago. It was a very memorable event for Jorge & I because on a weekend just like this we started our family together. Little did we know how quickly it would grow in just a few short years. I have to admit that my eyes got very watery during the mass as I sat there thinking back to that special day we got married in this very church. The day was very similar warm & sunny. I was just as stressed out as I was that day only there was no party afterwards that I could dance the night away. And our close friends & family were with us. The best man & maid of honor were by our side once again, only this time they were my babies' god parents. We have so much to be grateful for. We have been incredibly blessed & this day reminded me of how great God is. A reflection back over my life makes me realize that all things happen the way it should. I thank God every day for the family he's blessed me with.


Happy Anniversary Jorge! I love your more each day for the wonderful friend, husband and father you are. My only prayer today is that we have many many more years together.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

3 months down...

This was a big week for us...the girls officially turned three months old on Tuesday August 19th. YAY..I am one month closer to the 1 year mark. Apparently, you get an olympic sized gold medal if you can survive twins for a whole year :)

Click to play Babies 3 months
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Growing..and growing...and growing..

The peanuts are two months old now and I feel like each week there's something new I learn about them. Most recently they follow me with their eyes. They can see daddy approaching them & when I do make funny faces at them...they actually SMILE!! And, yes, I'm pretty sure it's not gas smiles :) They like it when I play with their little feet & give them kisses. They are also "cooing" although I wouldn't describe it as a "coo" sound but more of these girgling noise with some high pitch yells thrown in. AAAAHHHH....I remember so clearly when they could barely open their eyes.

My goal for this first year of their life is to blog at least once a week. For all of you veteran moms, you know this is an aggressive goal. But since I'm not keeping any other permanent record (baby book, scrap book, photo montage, etc.) of my first kids, I really need to do this. Otherwise they will grow up so fast & by then my memory will be complete SHOT...when did Cati take her first step?? when did Val say mama??...was it Cati or Val who flushed X down the toilet?? incredibly shrinking brain!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Twice the love Twice the fun!

On May 19th 2008 a day that will be forever marked in my memory as the most incredible day of my life my TWO beautiful daughters were born! I've never experienced any kind of emotion like this that it really should have it's own word all together. "Giving Birth" yes that's the emotion & it encompasses love, excitement, nerves, laughter, fear, hope, worry all rolled into one. Nevertheless my darling daughters were born happy & healthy (for the most part). They spent an additional 10 days in the NICU (Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit) for some issues to be resolved before they were discharged. These days were the hardest of my life...motherhood set in.

Catalina Evangelista Martinez
Born at 8:00PM weighed 5lbs 2oz 17 3/4 inches long

Valentina Maria Martinez
Born at 8:02PM weighed 4lbs 10oz 18 inches long




Click to play Our 1st Month
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When You Wish Upon A Star...

Everything my heart desired, I recieved. On one brisk morning of October I woke up pregnant!

I didn't know it would happen this way but it did. It was my birthday weekend. And the festivities began well before October 11th! There was a lot going on for me at the time. My husband and I were buying a new house & I had just been offered a great job in New Jersey. I had lots of reasons to celebrate this birthday year. Although in the depths of my heart..there was still a slight ache. An aching for a child that would make our young family complete. I put it in God's hands & let Jesus take the wheel on this one. I had decided some time ago to be happy & grateful for all of the wonderful things we did have & the blessings that we were lucky enough to receive.

My husband took me out to a special birthday dinner & Broadway show & I spent a night out with some friends celebrating!! One of my childhood favorite movies was Mary Poppins so my husband surprised me with tickets to see this show live! I knew all the songs & characters and it was like I was 8 years old again :) That evening somewhere in our conversation he mentioned, "so when is Aunt Flo due?" And it got me to thinking and I started counting back & recounting & thought..."could it be?" Could I really be late?? With all the festivities & packing I hadn't gone back to track my trusty fertility chart!! At this point I was just figuring we'd hit our 12 month mark & I'd eventually go in for some tests & then whatever came next.

That Friday night I had some hope but a part of me didn't want to feel disappointed again. The next morning I decided I would "pee on a stick" that's translation for a home pregnancy test. But I didn't tell my husband because I didn't want to get his hopes up either.

On Saturday morning October 13th at around 6:30AM I woke up & went to the bathroom & rummaged through my medicine cabinet for that one last home pregnancy test that I never used. Where was it??!! Where was it??!! UUGHH the frustration was killing me and so was the desire to relieve my full bladder. AHA I found it. I took very careful steps to do it right and not make a mess. Trust me when I tell you that peeing on a stick is quite an art form when you've done it as many times as I had in the last year. And then I let it lay there and looked away for a bit. I couldn't look at it. I just couldn't!! All the scenarios run through your mind & you begin to wonder why this form of self torture?? And then with all the courage I had in me, I looked...and I saw what must have been the BIGGEST BRIGHTEST MOST PERFECT + sign I had ever seen in my life. It was shock & awe right there in my bathroom.

After I stopped shaking & got the feeling back in my legs I ran & jumped on my bed to awaken my poor sleepy husband. LOOK! LOOK! WE DID IT! WE DID IT! And then I cried with every ounce of energy inside of me. I couldn't even get words out at that moment. We held each other for a long time.

A Definite Plus

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Latina Penguin Runner becomes a Mom

How does the infamous Latina Penguin Runner become a Latina Penguin M-O-M...I'm not quite sure either but if you follow me along this journey you & I will find out the answer to this & much more together.

My last blog entry ended with the day after my biggest goal ever, running the NYC Marathon. Much like a marathon the journey to motherhood requires least as much training as you can get in these short 9 months. As I navigate the world of pregnancy and an all new world of medical technology, I find my emotions ranging from excitement of the unknown to the fear of the unknown...motherhood. How DOES one prepare for motherhood?

I looked back& read my very first post on my blog back in May 2006 (WOW how time flies!) and I see that I was just as nervous & excited as I am today about different things of course but nevertheless it was a road untraveled by me. I was but a wee penguin those days waddling through 4 miles then 6 miles. I remember taking baby steps to ensure that I would reach my goal week after week, month after month, until the big day arrived. It was my greatest accomplishment yet to complete the whole 26.1 miles around New York City!

I feel like a wee penguin now, just kicked out of Mama Penguin's nest and out in the world to form a family of my own. Will I know what to do? Will I know what to say? Will I know how to be a good Latina Penguin Mom? I don't have the answers just yet but I hope I get them soon and in just a few short months I hope to reach my GREATEST accomplishment yet...becoming a MOM :)