Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Madi: 19 Months

Miss Madi - this month sure has flown by! But not without tons of fun of course. It's been a bit rough with me not feeling well and you not understanding why I can't always pick you up and snuggle you for bedtime. :-( However, I think you've loved the increase in Peppa Pig that you got to watch during Mommy's first trimester.

You were so full of "Madi moments" that Daddy and Mommy want to capture and remember for years to come. :-) You make us laugh baby girl and amaze us every day with how smart you are!

  • Daddy was taking his clothes off to get into the shower and laid them on the floor. You immediately walked over to them, picked them up, and said "dirty". Then we watched in amazement as you carried them straight over to the laundry chute, opened it, and put them inside! We had no idea you had ever seen us do that before, but we sure don't say "dirty" everytime we do, haha.
  • You constantly want to be picked up, which is adorable, but getting hard for Mommy sometimes. You also like to pull on our pants and say "come Mommy" or "come Daddy". You've fallen a couple times when I am in stretchy lounge pants so we are trying to teach you to take our hands instead.
  • You love to laugh and be tickled. You say "more" whenever we stop and let me tell you, that laugh is beautiful and contagious! :-)
  • You have got a bit of a sweet tooth, which unfortunately I'm pretty sure came from Mommy. :-/ You ate the top half of an iced cinnamon roll and then asked for "more" from Daddy. Also, we gave you a bowl of lucky charms one morning while we were getting ready and when I came out to see you a few minutes later you were asking for "more". I thought, "wow, I can't believe she ate her whole bowl!". And then I looked at the bowl. Full of cereal. Void of marshmallows. And I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing because I know I did the same thing as a kid!!
  • We are seeing a bit of bossiness this month... along with telling us to come, you also like to tell us "eat Mommy" or "drink Daddy" or "sitta Mommy". You also like to push us out of chairs, but at least say "coo meez" (excuse me) while you are doing so. 
  • We guess that this is because you are learning both English and Norwegian, but you frequently add the sound "a" at the end of your English words. Like for "sit" you say "sitta". 
  • Apparently we scold Zoey a lot because "no Zoey" has become a frequent phrase you say daily. If there's a sound from somewhere in the house - "no Zoey", if Zoey jumps on the sofa and climbs on Mommy's lap - "no Zoey", and the list goes on. We are trying to correct you when Zoey isn't doing something wrong (just something you don't like!)
  • You have gotten very good at saying "thank you" when we give you something and have started to pick up on "you're welcome" a little bit as well.
  • Our current struggle is your independence... you like to do things on your own, which is usually fine, but you get frustrated and won't let us help you. You screamed during bathtime when Daddy tried to wash your hair because you wanted to do it (which meant rubbing the wash cloth over and over again in just one place on the side of your head!). The next morning you asked for a "figa newt" (fig newton) and got upset when Daddy gave you one and tried to grab the package. I called out that I thought you wanted to get it out yourself so Daddy gave you the package and sure enough you just wanted to open it and get your own cookie. It will be great for you to be so independent when your siblings arrive, but you need to let us help yu sometimes baby girl! :-)
  • Mommy and Daddy can't sing. We've never claimed to be able to either. But we loved singing praise and worship songs to you during bedtime snuggles. Well that's ended abruptly. Both of us realized independently (we've been taking turns putting you to bed) that you start crying when we sing. Talk about a confidence booster.... sheesh! So there's no more singing before bedtime in the Stingerie household. Instead we hold you for a few minutes, then you point to the bed, and we lay you down. Easy peasy, but Mommy sure does miss our old book, singing, and a tiny bit more snuggling! 
  • Dice have become your favorite toy this month. You are pretty good at keeping them on the table since we ask you to roll only there. We've also noticed you counting the dice. You will pick them up one at a time and put them into the container counting "one, two, three, four". Then you kind of stop, don't really say "five", and then say "six". You've definitely got an early concept of numbers.
  • Your other favorite activity this month has been drawing. You love to draw in the evening and at school. They told us you have amazing concentration when you are drawing. We've started scanning your pictures so that I can make an album of your artwork (and auction the originals to grandparents for your college fund!). 

  • The last moment I want to share is the first time I made you cry (unintentionally of course). We are working on obedience right now with you and there's been some ups and downs. We respect you enough to know that you understand us the first time we tell you to do something and we shouldn't have to repeat ourselves. I asked you twice to come to me for a diaper change and as you walked away from me, I said "Madison now". Well however I said that last word, "now", you stopped dead in your tracks, turned around to look at me with a distraught face, burst into tears and ran to hug me. I had this moment of horror at the realization that my tone of voice made you cry, but was also grateful that you understood it meant business and I didn't have to ask you again. If I utter the word "now" anymore (in a much more reserved tone), you immediately obey. 

Sweet and precious girl - you are so loved and special to Daddy and Mommy. We love that you are so energetic and joyful! You make us laugh and smile. You are getting so big and independent! We know you are going to be an amazing big sister and great helper. You are patient and kind and love to climb anything you can. ;-) Happy 19 months!

Daddy and Mommy


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Twin Tuesday: First Trimester Recap and 13 Week Ultrasound

I just finished re-reading my First Trimester Collection with Madi. Wow, did it read like a book to how I have been telling people I currently feel! I remembered some stuff from before, but not all of the similarities between the two.

First Trimester Symptoms
1. Morning sickness (or lack there of...):

  • Similarities: I was so grateful to not have to take progesterone this pregnancy that it didn't even occur to me that it could be because there were two babies in there!! I haven't been sick once for which I am extremely grateful since I read that you can be hit twice as hard with twins since hormone levels are so much higher.
  • Differences: Even though I haven't been sick, I have definitely felt a bit queasy here and there. Nothing too bad, but if I didn't eat pretty soon after waking or have a snack/meal every 3-4 hours it would hit me. 
2. Fatigue:
  • Similarities: Definitely have been exhausted. It's hard to say if it's more/less than my first pregnancy, but it feels like more! Whether or not that can be attributed to twins or having a toddler (or a combination of both) is debatable. 
3. Food aversions and cravings:
  • Similarities: Sweets sounded horrendous for most of the first trimester (which obviously has its pros/cons!). Additionally, coffee (even the smell) has been a nemesis since finding out we were expecting. [On the plus side though, after I angrily accused Jason of having coffee aversion because it was his baby, he smugly retorted to me "well then next time have a baby with someone else." So I have permission to cheat on my husband should I want a fourth baby. ;-)]
  • Differences: Perhaps its because we've lived in Norway longer or haven't been back to the States in awhile, but I am craving American junk food and fast food (think spaghettios, chick fila a, cheez its, taco bell, etc. etc.)
4. Body changes:

  • Similarities: I lost a little bit of weight in the beginning with Madi and I have as well with this pregnancy. 
  • Differences: Definitely showing sooner (which is usual with second pregnancy)
5. Other:
  • Differences: Baths. I have been obsessed - to the point where I am having one almost every day. It seems to help relax me and give me an extra boost of energy to make it the last couple of hours in the evening after Madi has gone to bed. 

Bump Pictures!

13 Week Ultrasound
Yesterday we had my 13 week ultrasound. And there are still two babies in there. I told the doctor I just needed to see proof again to really accept our fate. She laughed and was gracious - even when bombarded with a list of questions Jason and I have compiled as I've been reading through the book When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads. I have a couple others on my list that I want to read including some books on coordinating twin schedules after they are born. If anyone has other recommendations please let me know! I'll do a review post of the books I read like we did with Madi.

The ultrasound itself went very well - the doctor wasn't able to get heartbeats because the twins would not stop moving around! Guess they are movers and shakers in the womb like their sister. :-) However, she was able to get measurements on both of the twins. They are measuring almost exactly the same as one another AND the same as a singleton pregnancy would for 13 weeks. All of that is great news!! She said given my history she wouldn't be surprised if I was able to go to 38 weeks (I carried Madi almost a week past her due date and she weighed a healthy 8 lbs). I wasn't sure if that news was supposed to be encouraging or terrifying - I guess a bit of both! ;-)

I was so glad Jason was able to come see the babies with me this visit. It's amazing to see your little one inside you move and seeing two is just as miraculous! At one point both of the twins had their right hand covering part of their face in the exact same position. It was darling! I also laughed at one point and watched Baby B float up and back down on the monitor with my movement. So amazing!

As a reference, the twins could still possible switch places, but are currently sitting on my upper right side (Baby A) and lower left side (Baby B). We got a couple pictures of them individually and a couple together. The last one is my favorite because you can see both sets of little legs and bodies!

We have two appointments next month - one more around 16 weeks with my doctor and then our 18 week ultrasound at the hospital to check gender and screen the babies to see if any genetic testing is recommended. We hope they cooperate and let us know if they are boys or girls!!

Baby A

Baby B

Baby A or Baby B? with hands covering face

Baby A and Baby B

We appreciate your continued prayers for the health of our little ones! Here's to a healthy (and hopefully more energetic!) second trimester!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Twin Tuesday: 12 Weeks

How far along: 12 weeks, 3 days

Twins' Development: Ears are in final position on sides of head; eyelids are less transparent and eyes have moved closer together (source: Baby Center Twins)

Sleep: I am waking up a few times a night and have to get up usually once (sometimes twice) to go to the bathroom. However, I am able to fall back asleep pretty quickly. I've been really exhausted and going to bed early and sometimes napping. :-)

Movement: I swear I felt a tiny flutter already, but everything I've read says that you don't feel twins any earlier than a singleton baby (although you usually feel your second baby sooner than your first). 

Unglamorous body changes: Nothing really bad yet. No stretch marks and I'm not showing as much as I thought I would. 

Maternity Clothes? I did bust out the belly band, but I think that's mostly because my pants were already too tight from being overweight before I got pregnant (why did no one tell me I had gotten so fat??)

Showing: I definitely have more of a bump than I did at this point with Madi! It's still in that awkward "is she pregnant or just chunky?" phase though (despite what it looks like above - note to self: don't take bump pictures right after a meal or high-sodium ramen...)

Food cravings: Where do I begin? I am not sure if it's because we've lived in Norway for so long or because it's been so long since I was last in America, but you name an unhealthy processed food and chances are I have been craving it - bagel bites, velveeta (thankfully a co-worker brought me some this week!), ramen (although I can get an equivalent here), sour candies, spaghettios, fig newtons (thank you Joy for giving me some!), string cheese (thanks Rick!), and cheez-its (thanks Mom!). That's all I can think of right now before lunch because I'm now getting hungry. ;-)

What I miss: See above.

Anything making you queasy: I have definitely felt more queasy overall this pregnancy. The smell of coffee is probably the strongest aversion that I've had. (I haven't had a cup for weeks now and I used to have three a day. Sigh.)

Strange experiences: The idea of having twins? It's still really surreal to me. We have our next ultrasound Monday, Jan 12th and I am anxious to see those babies and ask my doctor the long list of questions we've compiled about how things work here in Norway with twins. 

Best moment this week: Getting approval to do our baby shipment with my company early and getting it doubled since we are having two babies! Houston here we come!! 
(*Update: a couple of people asked what a baby shipment is. My company gives you an additional air shipment if your dependency number changes while on assignment. We will fly back to Houston to do most of our baby gear shopping and the company will handle packing and shipping to Norway for us. It's amazing!)

Looking forward to: Ultrasound next week... I need proof that we are really having twins for it to sink in (because obviously one ultrasound isn't enough to convince me - ha!)


Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Trip to Hovden

We got a cabin in Hovden, a ski town, as part of the company lottery. We weren't sure if we were going to use it or not as I was really wanting to travel somewhere for New Year's since we were spending Christmas here in Norway. But as we got closer to December (and found out I was expecting), an easy and short get-a-away seemed advantageous.

We headed up to the cabin on Dec 31 and met our friends the Kolesar family who we'd invited to join us for the week. It was a long drive up there (about six hours with a couple bathroom stops), but so beautiful.

Our cabin!

After we arrived, we got settled and enjoyed a bit a sledding and some premature fireworks that the kids loved.

Jason and I are a bit snobby about fireworks since our alma mater, Mines, always does a fabulous Engineering Days show. However, Norway surprised and thoroughly impressed us! There aren't any regulations about fireworks in Hovden so we literally had a 360 degree show, including fireworks in the cabin directly behind us. Here's some video Jason shot, mostly of the neighbor's show -

We spent the next couple of days sledding and playing in the snow, napping (all of us - not just the kids!), and swimming.

And of course Daddy had to teach Madi how to climb a ladder. In his defense, she was already attempting after watching one of the boys scamper up it!

Mmm... Ms Kara's brownies! Delish!

And of course we had to have black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Year's Day!

Our last day/evening there it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. We no longer had a sledding hill / path to the car and the boys had to spend the morning shoveling us and the cars out so we could head home. (Thanks boys!)

This is the window from our bedroom... with snow almost to the top!

We had a long drive back home which consisted of lots of Peppa Pig and a couple stops for Madi to steal my ice cream and take a turn driving. ;-)

It was a wonderful and relaxing trip with friends and a perfect way to ring in 2015!

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