Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Twin Tuesday: 24 Weeks!

How far along: 24 weeks (click here to see 24 weeks with Madi!)

Gender: Baby girls! Here is our gender reveal video.

Twins' Development: The babies' lungs are developing "branches" along with their taste buds. The top of my uterus is now about three inches above my belly button. (Source: Baby Center Twins)

Sleep: No complaints! I have been staying up a bit later than usual and am feeling that, but we have a long Easter break coming up this week so I should have a chance to rest. 

Movement: Yes! Jason got to feel the first official kick externally while we were in Houston. I was still feeling them inside, but it wasn't until Jason's birthday, the day after we arrived back from the States, that I felt kicks! Now they've been going crazy and we've both felt them tons. :-)

Unglamorous body changes: I'm starting to feel large and noticed tons of blue veins across the sides of my stomach and chest. I remember noticing them with Madi, but not this pronounced. No stretch marks on the horizon, which I am grateful about. 

Maternity Clothes? Yep! I wore a regular medium t shirt yesterday lounging around the house and felt pretty awesome when I lifted my arms and the shirt creeped up above my pants line... Guess I need to see if I have some larger t shirts!

Showing: Yes! My weight gain has been a bit unimpressive (less than with Madi at this time even though I am clearly bigger), but I lost a good bit more in the beginning and the doctor isn't at all concerned based on how the babies are measuring. 

Food cravings: Salad. Every since returning from the States I have been wanting salad - basically anything light and not greasy. ;-)

What I miss: A margarita. On the rocks, with salt, and top shelf tequila. Mmmmm.

Anything making you queasy: Nope.

Strange experiences: Honestly, the pregnancy so far feels identical to Madi's (which is great). I am incredibly grateful for that since things were so smooth with her, but it's making it hard for me to still process and reconcile having two babies instead of one. I told Jason I don't think I will fully accept or believe it until I see two babies come out of me and put into my arms!

Best moment this month: It was so wonderful to see so many friends and family while we were in Houston!! I cherished the time we had and it went by much too quickly. We also got all of our shopping done for the babies and the shipment gets delivered tomorrow - yay!!!

Also, we have finalized names! We plan to keep them between us until their arrival, but are excited and have started ordering a couple personalized things so I don't get them mixed up. ;-)

Looking forward to: Unpacking and setting up the twins' nursery. 

24 Week Appt and Prayer Request: Today was my 24 week appointment. It went really well and the babies are measuring great still. The baby on the right is measuring slightly above for 24 weeks and the baby on the left is measuring slightly below for 24 weeks. But both are within the range to not be concerned. 

Also, at the last two appointments, both babies have been breech. It's still too early to make any calls about delivery, but we found out today that the baby on the right has now flipped to be head down and pushed baby on the left from being closest to the cervix... however, the baby on the left is still breech and has got her feet basically under the other baby's head. It's still early like I said, but if they stay this way, then it will not be good for a vaginal delivery due to entanglement. The prayer request is that either baby on the left pulls her feet up away from obstructing the birth channel and her sister or she flips. 

Besides that the doctor was impressed with how well I am doing still. She also checked me just to make sure that there was no shortening of the cervix or anything and based on that and how things are going she still believes I have a good chance of making it to week 38 (at which point Norway would induce). I am very grateful for such a smooth pregnancy, especially with twins, and am praying hard for an optimal baby positioning for vaginal delivery. 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jason's 30th!

Jason's big 3-0 was pretty low key. Well, the actual day was if you don't count the five birthday dinners that he technically had while we were in Houston. ;-) Each time a family member was in town we celebrated, starting with my Dad and Mary at Perry's Steakhouse.

And then we did a joint celebration of our sweet niece Sydney (who just turned five!) with Uncle Jason.

Then of course was our Melting Pot date night / birthday dinner. We love that place and enjoyed a chance to just visit with one another about the future (and surrounding uncertainty that comes with being an expat right now!).

And when we went to dinner at Benihana the next night, we obviously had to have them sing to Jason and take a group photo to commemorate! (Madi was really excited as you could see - she'd had a long day at the rodeo beforehand!)

Then finally, Fogo de Chao where my Mom and Jeff wanted to celebrate with Jason.

So by the actual day of Jason's birthday (which was March 18, the day after we arrived back from our Houston trip), neither of us was keen for anything else big on a Wednesday night. We bought an Oreo ice cream cake and Jason got a priceless present - Madi saying "happy birthday daddy!" and helping blow out his candle. Like five times because she kept asking for "more". ;-)

This weekend we planned to go see the Top Gear show live in Stavanger (my surprise gift to Jason for his birthday), but then one of the hosts had to go and get himself fired so instead we enjoyed one final birthday dinner and movie date.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Houston Visit 2015

When we found out we were expecting again (and this time twins!), we quickly got a trip booked to head back to the States for some baby-gear shopping and an opportunity to see family and friends before our new additions arrive.

We had a busy and fun-filled trip visiting with family and going to places like Kemah Boardwalk, Houston Children's Museum, Houston Zoo, and the Rodeo. We also spent some time just hanging out and resting. :-)

Madi was a gem on the long flight over and we got lucky with an almost empty section so Madi got her own seat! Despite our flight being delayed and arriving late, Madi was able to go to sleep and woke up around 6 am the next morning. I consider that a huge success!

Lots of cousin fun with Sydney and Jaiden! They were so good at sharing with Madi and she even got to drive Jaiden's car and drove herself for the first time!!

The Houston Children's Museum was tons of fun! The cousins loved it and then at lunch Madi passed out in my arms. She had a slight fever (top two-year molars) - poor thing!

We had a blast riding the train and having dinner at Kemah Boardwalk!

We got to spend our first weekend with Grandma and Papa (Souta). Madi had fun playing with them, going to church with them, and enjoying breakfast at Cracker Barrel (with her new Hello Kitty toy!).

We got to enjoy an evening to ourselves (thanks to Stephanie watching Madi for us!) and attend a friend's wedding. It was fun to have this guy all to myself. :-)

We enjoyed staying part of our trip at the Meeh's home with Cindy and David. David is a natural at the grandparent-thing and Madi loved playing Tick Tock and Uppy Uppy with him.

Enjoying walks around the Meehs neighborhood to find doggies!

We celebrated Jason's and Sydney's birthdays a bit early while we were all together. Yummy cake and fun presents! It was tough to say goodbye to this precious family.

The last weekend we had Grandma and Papa Jeff in town along with Aunt Lily and Mimi. They watched Madi that Friday night so Jason and I could go to dinner at The Melting Pot and celebrate his birthday with a date night (thanks guys!).

Madi spent the night with them at their hotel and had a fun breakfast waffle and chance to take selfies.

We headed to their hotel and set off for the Rodeo! Madi had soooo much fun at the petting zoo and riding on the tractors. We played a few carnival games and spent time visiting while Madi napped in her stroller. I also think she was the best-dressed little girl there with her bandana-print dress and boots. But I might be biased. ;-)

Sunday all of us headed to the Houston Zoo! The weather was nice and Madi loved running around. Her favorite though was definitely feeding the giraffes... she loved it so much we went back through and did it twice!

We had to say good-bye to Aunt Lily and Mimi that afternoon before heading to dinner at Fogo de Chao. The meat was amazing and just the fix we needed.

The next day was our last before heading back to Norway, but we got to spend a lot of it with Grandma and Papa Jeff before their flight left. We enjoyed walking around Terry Hershey park and visiting.

Our flight left late that evening (9:45 pm) and we headed to the airport a bit early so we could make sure to get our five bags, car seat, and stroller all checked in as well as the rental car returned without feeling rushed. Madi once again did amazing and slept seven of the nine-hour flight to London. She had a blast watching Peppa Pig in the lounge and was excited to get home to her kittens and her own bed!

Overall, it was a wonderful trip! Thank you to everyone who came out to visit us and let us crash with them!! We sure did have fun and miss everyone!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Twin Tuesday: Identical or Fraternal?

The most common questions we've been asked when someone hears we are having twins are (1) Do twins run in your family? and (2) Are they identical or fraternal?

I spoke briefly about the difference in this post since a lot of the information was new to us as well and we had just started reading up on twins. 

I've since joined a couple Facebook groups for twin moms and came across this great chart which shows the different kinds of fraternal and identical twins. I found it to be super helpful!

Since you may have seen in our gender reveal that we are having two girls, there is no definitive way to tell right now if they are identical or fraternal. Most likely though, they are fraternal - dizygotic dichorionic diamniotic twins (say that three times fast!) to be exact.

Since both Jason and I are O- blood type, we wouldn't be able to use blood type alone to definitively determine if they were identical or fraternal. We can always do a blood test (cheek swab of DNA) to after they are born depending on similar or different they look. (Confession: I am terrified of mixing them up after birth! They better get those arm bands on them quick - ha!)


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Family / Maternity Photos

I emailed two people as soon as we'd booked our tickets to fly back to the States - my hair dresser and my friend Marianne, an uber talented photographer with Charade Photography. (She also did our Maternity photos when I was pregnant with Madi as well as Madi's Baptism and One Year Photoshoot)

We settled on a date towards the end of our visit, which made me a little nervous with the Houston weather, but I think worked well since I pretty much doubled in size during the trip!

The morning we went for pictures was a bit overcast and cold, but doable. Madi was a bit of a pill (once again!) and only wanted Mommy to hold her. We still got some fabulous pictures though thanks to Marianne!

Now get ready for picture overload because it was just too hard to narrow down which ones to share! :-)

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