Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Bump: 33 Weeks

How far along: 33 Weeks as of April 28
Development: Had another ultrasound this week and the girls are doing great. Unfortunately one of them still has her head up and she may not have enough room to turn around. So it may be a c-section delivery since she is the first in line to be born.
Movement: Lots and lots of movement, mostly around the top of my belly as there's a little more wiggle room up there.
Weight Gain: Total weight gain this pregnancy - 6.2 kgs
Maternity Clothes: Starting to find my maternity shirts feeling short - so it's a lot of dresses with jeans and leggings these days.
Stretch Marks: Not too many new ones, but my tummy is super red from being stretched so much.
Best moment of my week: Doing my maternity photo shoot! Can't wait to write a post about it.
Worst moment: Having both kids get sick in the past two weeks with pneumonia, bad nights and antibiotics. I guess they're getting me ready for getting up every two hours during the night?
Sleep: Starting to have some difficulty getting good sleep and finding a comfortable position, but I do wake up in the morning with a lot more energy and less pain than when I get to bed by night time.
Miss Anything: Being able to run after my kids! They can seriously outrun me right now.
Food Cravings: Everything! I am so hungry these days, but my stomach is so cramped for space I have to eat a little bit every hour. My girls need to gain a lot of weight in the next few weeks so I'll take advantage of it.
Aversions: Nope
Gender: Girls!
Labor signs: A few random contractions here and there.
Belly Button: Totally spread out. In fact I can hardly see it when I stand up!
Rings: On
Mood: Feeling a little hormonally challenged some days, trying to cherish the time with only two kids and yet looking forward to meeting my little girls.
Looking forward: My mom is arriving this week! So looking forward to spending time with her and having her here to help with the kids and the babies.

With the kids being so sick the past few weeks I haven't been keeping up with my weekly photos, but I'll give you a quick peek at some of my maternity shots. They were taken at 32 weeks.

It looks like I'll probably only have one more bump update for you all - if the girls continue to gain weight and reach well over 2 kilos each by about 36 weeks and if they stay in their current position, we'll probably have a scheduled c-section on or around May 19th!

Want to read my other "bump" updates? 15 Weeks18 Weeks21 Weeks, 24 Weeks, 27 Weeks and 30 Weeks.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Preparing for the Twins - The Kids - Part 2

I can't quite believe that in a little over four weeks we'll be welcoming our twins into the world! There are lots of things to get ready still in our house, and while we can do a lot to prepare, we can't really predict how our kids will react to the twins.

A few weeks ago we had a visit from their Aunt Grace and cousin Kevin and were able to spend a few days with them. Kevin turned 9 months old during their trip here. We haven't had a lot of interaction with smaller babies recently, so I was interested to see how they would behave around Kevin.

Lots of fun with family! 
 I was happy to see how gentle Lucas and Elena were with Kevin. We discovered pretty quickly that it was much better to have only one of them playing with Kevin at a time - otherwise the poor little guy was a little overwhelmed with two cousins so close. So I guess it's good we'll have two little girls - each big kid can entertain a little one. :)

I'm not sure exactly what game these two were playing, but it sure looked like they were getting ready to hold their baby sisters! 

Thankfully both my kids were pretty good eaters as babies, but I can already imagine how much more challenging it will be with feeding two at the same time - so I'm sure I'll be asking my little helpers to pitch in. While Kevin was here, both Lucas and Elena had a chance to help feed him. It was pretty cute. Check it out...

Any other tips for helping my kids prepare for the twins' arrival?

Thursday, 11 April 2013


There's really no other word for it.

We have been amazingly and generously blessed by family and friends as we prepare for our twins arrival. 

When we first considered adding another little one to our family, we thought we basically had all our bases covered; crib - check, infant car seat - check, stroller - check, boy clothes - check, girl clothes - check, you get the idea. Learning we were having twins meant needing double of almost everything! Or something that works for twins - like a double stroller. Through many different circumstances and connections we've received a second-hand infant car seat, baby rocker, crib, high chair, diaper bag and lots of little girls clothes. The only big purchase I've made is for our double stroller - hand delivered to Brazil from Canada by my brother! :)  

We were also blessed to have a baby shower put on by my sisters and friends from church. Since I really love making invitations, I made the one for our shower.
Roughly translated it says:

Twins - A double dose of joy. 
Or we might say something like "Twins - twice as nice!"

We're expecting you
for our
Baby Shower

Date and Info

My sister-in-law Grace did the simple and sweet decorations.

Very labor intensive project - but so useful for the momma in the months to come.
I think 84 diapers were used to make these two "cakes"
Lots of kids at the shower! Elena was so excited to pick out her own dress. Later on Daddy took her and Lucas out for a bit. Before the shower Lucas played with grandpa. 

Friends and family made it a very special occasion.

My father-in-law got roped into sharing a short meditation and we were blessed to have good friends pray for us and the girls.

After that we had some fun games which included one where three of us had to try to decipher the ingredients of a jar of baby food. Man, that stuff is gross. I was totally wrong in my guesses! The guests also had to write a short note saying how they had met me, or a funny incident that we shared (without including their name). My other sister-in-law, Aline, gave me each note, and I read it aloud (good for my Portuguese practice!) and if I guessed the person incorrectly I would get another item to wear. The point is basically to make the mom look ridiculous.This is an integral part of any Brazilian baby shower. Thankfully most people were nice and obvious in their notes, so I only ended up with the funny streamer hat. 
The kids helped me open the gifts.
 With my baby shower for Elena, I had to guess what each gift contained - got a lot more of those wrong and ended up looking like this...
Almost all the women who attended the shower.
 The Loot! Total diaper tally so far - 714.
Already have an occasion picked out for those two matching black dress / lace legging outfits. :) 
I will end with the video that my sweet sister, Aline, made for the shower. 

Transliteration of the Portuguese text:

The Portelas - Part 4
The Journey Continues
Once upon a time there was a very cute baby girl...
and a big chubby baby boy...
Who met and began a beautiful journey together...
First came Lucas,
and then Elena arrived
But the couple still didn't feel that their family was complete...
...who knows, another boy or another girl..
...but who knew it would be TWO GIRLS!?...
Today, Taara's world is full of pink
...and the little girls are just growing...
...and growing (it's already getting a little tight in there)
We're waiting anxiously to meet you, little princesses. May God bring you out healthy and bless this beautiful family.
Do you think they'll stop there? Place your bets...

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Bump: 30 Weeks

How far along: 30 Weeks as of April 7
Development: Are you surprised that I'm going to write about having another ultrasound? Well, I have one scheduled for Friday and it's probably not going to be the last! They really love ultrasounds here and especially with twins I'll be getting more ultrasounds in the last month to monitor the girls growth, approximate weight and the uterine fluid levels. The most important thing from this point onward is that they both grow at basically the same rate - if one gets too much bigger than the other it can necessitate an early delivery. Our goal is to get to 36 weeks.
Movement: Definite "alien-esque" movements these days as my belly routinely stretches to one side or the other.
Weight Gain: Um, I'll update after my doctors visit this week - I don't really make a habit of stepping on the scale. ever.
Maternity Clothes: I finally went through my dresser and put away all the regular sized jeans and pants. Going to need to go through my tops and t-shirts as they are all starting to feel short. Time to get into hubby's shirts maybe?
Stretch Marks: Lots of new ones right around my belly. Applying cream to help as well as relieve itching.
Best moment of my week: Having almost two week's worth of groceries bought and delivered, thanks to my awesome in-laws. Standing in the grocery line is torture sometimes!
Worst moment: Leg. Cramps. Enough said.
Sleep: Power naps are a must during the day. Starting to get some back and hip pain regularly at night. Seriously, turning over is like doing a five point turn.
Miss Anything: Being able to get up from sitting without feeling back, leg and hip pain.
Food Cravings: Coffee and spicy noodles. Both not good for heartburn. :(
Aversions: Nope
Gender: Girls!
Labor signs: A few random contractions here and there.
Belly Button: Out and totally off-center. I think by the end I may not have a belly button at all as it is almost the only place on my belly that has any stretch left to it!
Rings: On
Mood: Excited, exhausted and a little anxious of the transition to a family of six!
Looking forward: Taking some family and maternity photos next weekend. I never did anything in my previous two pregnancies, and since this is our last (and we haven't had a good family photo in a while) I thought I'd better do it while we can. It's not everyday that you're pregnant with twins! :)

And here are a few "progress" shots from weeks 27-30...

Want to read my other "bump" updates? 15 Weeks18 Weeks21 Weeks, 24 Weeks and 27 Weeks

Monday, 1 April 2013

April Fools

David and I have a long history of pulling some pretty awesome April Fools jokes on our family and friends. Our biggest and most wide-spread prank was our "spur of the moment" wedding that we staged in 2004. We'd been dating for about 10 months and were well on our way to an engagement. We were both at University in Canada and far away from our parents. Mine were in Bangladesh and his in Brazil. Since we hadn't yet met each other's parents, we thought it'd be fun to convince them we'd gotten hitched.

This resulted in a $35 Value Village dress for me (which I later exchanged for some wearable clothes) and David in a suit. We strode through our college campus and snapped some shots by the blossoming Cherry trees. Of course, we had to do this on March 31 as my parents were already 12 hours ahead of us, and we had to be sure they'd get the email on April 1st and no later!

I don't think we really fooled my mom, but I did get an email back from her with the subject, "congratulations" and an empty message. We did fool a lot of our friends and some complained about having to return gifts!
And I wore a white lace table-runner as a veil - this (and the dress) were what convinced my mom we were just joking.
We were engaged on July 30, 2004 and married in June 2005.

Our other big prank has come around full circle. In 2010, when I was pregnant with Elena, David made an interesting Facebook update which resulted in quite a few people thinking we were having twins...

Just one little letter made all the difference in this status update...

I had a good laugh with my friend Ana on Skype Chat - just love the line, "with you two - i should have expected"

If you have any doubt that God has a sense of humor, just look where we are now, expecting twins in about two months! If we were to pull a prank today, it would go something like,

"Well, the ultrasound techs were wrong! Logan and Liam will be arriving in May.:)"

Would you fall for it?
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