By peoplestaff225
Updated December 15, 2008 07:00 AM
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Born via surrogate in early August, Ricky Martin‘s 4-month-old fraternal twin boys, Valentino (left) and Matteo, make their debut in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now. A joyful Ricky, 36, spoke candidly with PEOPLE (and PEOPLE en Español) from his home in Puerto Rico about fatherhood.

On this time in his life:

“I’m so happy! Everything they do, from smiling to crying, feels like a blessing,” says Ricky. “Being a father is amazing. This has been the most spiritual moment in my life. I have to be honest, I’m completely exhausted. But I’ve never been happier. Whether they smile or cry, it’s all magical.”

Discussing his hands-on parenting:

“I don’t have a nanny,” he says. “I’m doing this on my own because I don’t want to miss a moment. I have a personal assistant who helps me, someone who takes care of me while I’m taking care of them, but I’m the one who changes the diapers, the one that feeds them, the one that bathes them, the one that puts them to sleep. Then it starts all over again! I created structure for their eating and sleeping patterns — sometimes they cry at the same time, too. For any parent, the first couple of months tend to get a little bit intense. With twins,it’s double the love. But it also means I don’t get much sleep.”

Click ‘More’ to see another photo, and read about Ricky’s desire to be a parent, his decision to seek the help of a surrogate and more!

On his decision to use a surrogate:

Ricky first went online to research surrogacy in 2007. Thanks to his visits to orphanages for his Ricky Martin Foundation, he “always knew” he wanted to be a father. “Adoption was one option, but it’s complicated and can take a longtime. Surrogacy was an intriguing and faster option. I thought, ‘I’m going to jump into this with no fear.’ I put my name on the list for one baby and then found out I got two!” Informed of the news 12 weeks into the pregnancy, the singer says he “wasn’t afraid. I just knew I had to prepare to take care of them the best way possible.”

On the day of the babies’ delivery:

Though Ricky declines to give the name of his surrogate, he was present for the scheduled C-section — Matteo arrived first, weighing in at 6 lbs., 13 oz, while Valentino was 5 lbs. 6 oz — and bonded with the twins after their birth. “I was sweating because I was so nervous. I just needed to look at my sons. They were swaddled but I was like, “I want to see their toes, I want to see their bellies, I want to touch their hands. Unswaddle them for me!” I immediately felt the need to hold them. I took off my shirt and gave them skin-to skin therapy. Holding them was the most beautiful feeling. My whole family was there crying, but I was too excited to cry.”

Discussing the future of his family:

“I know people say this is a different type of family,” Ricky shares. Though he was a child of divorce — his parents split when he was just 2 –Ricky says they gave him a “beautiful childhood,” and he knows he can do the same for his boys. “Yes, my babies don’t have a mom [present]. But I have a lot of incredible women in my family that will always be there for them.”

About Valentino’s and Matteo’s personalities and looks:

“Valentino loves to sleep. I call him Mr. Peace and Love because he’s so chill and serene,” Ricky shares. Matteo is more alert and active. He was up at 3 a.m. the other night and just hanging! Valentino means ‘brave one’ and Matteo means ‘gift from God’,” he says. “As a father, I have to say they look like me. It’s magical to look at your child and see yourself in their eyes.”

His philosophy on raising his sons:

“I read to them, I tell them stories, I play music for them so they develop their own personalities,” says Ricky. “I want to give them information and answer all their questions with honesty and truth. I believe it’s very important to raise them with a lot of honesty and acceptance.”

Ricky shares he “sings to my sons all day long. I do more classic rock when I sing … I’m not la-la-ing Mozart!” His latest lullaby? “Lovin’ You” by ’70s R&B singer Minnie Riperton. “I”m happy to say [the babies] love music.” The twins also love to be held. “And at 15 pounds each, it’s a bicep-tricep workout all day long!”

Regarding the possibility of baby number three:

“I’ve had many highlights in my life, but being a father has been the most amazing so far,” the singer shares. “I started this with a lot of love in my heart. I don’t think any other experience will ever get close.”

Source: PEOPLE