Saturday, February 19, 2011

20 weeks 5 days - February 19, 2011

To my two beautiful little girls,
A lot has happened in the past two weeks since I last wrote to you. Actually, I should say that one major thing has happened...we came up with your names! Before we found out we were having two girls, ew had one boys name and one girls name picked out. If one of you turned out to be a boy, we were going to name you Aksel Burke. Now, mommy and daddy aren't crazy. When we were thinking of names, we wanted something a little different and we've both been drawn to Scandinavian names. One, daddy lived in Finland when we was ski jumping and had a Finnish coach. Two, we wanted a name that would go well with Hoffman, and three Mommy has a love for Norway and wants nothing more than to go there someday. Mommy came up with the boy name when watching the 2010 Winter Olympics. A very famous alpine skier named Aksel Lund and a local biathlete from Paul Smith, NY named Tim Burke were both competing at the Olympics. Mommy fell in love with the name Aksel and Burke seemed like a good fit for a middle name. Thus, Aksel Burke Hoffman was born...but we have now been blessed with two girls so Aksel is no more!

So since we found out we were having girls, mommy and daddy started coming up with names. Daddy's #1 pick was Stella. It is a good Scandinavian name that happens to be the #1 girls name in Sweden for 2010. Mommy stumbled upon Sophie and liked that it is a delicate name. Stella means "star" and Sophie means "wisdom." We really hope that you will channel each other's meanings and be both bright as a star and smart in everything you do. When we started thinking of middle names, we tried to come up with a family name, but couldn't think of anything we liked. Mommy has always been fascinated with old Hollywood glamour. When the sonographer said, "Congrats, you are having two little princesses," I thought it would be great to incorporate that somehow into our old Hollywood middle names that we envisioned. So, thus came Audrey and Grayce. Audrey means "noble strength" and the name stemmed from a 16th century English Princess. It is also the name of mommy's favorite Hollywood actress, Audrey Hepburn who starred in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Grayce stems from one of the classiest, most beautiful actresses, Grace Kelly. She also became a real princess when she married the Prince of Monaco. We decided to change the spelling so it would be a little more unique, so we added the "y" to it. Grayce m
eans favor/blessing and you are definitely that!

So, now we have two beautiful first names and two beautiful middle names. Which one of you gets each name? Well, that part was really easy. From the time of our first sonogram, we started calling Baby A "kari" and Baby B "taylor." Baby B seems very rambunctious and kicks mommy a lot and is very active. Mommy and daddy joke that you are training inside me to become a ski jumper! Baby A has been sitting towards mommy's back, so your movements are a little less noticeable (until today). Also, in the ultrasound Baby B likes to move a lot and Baby A is a little more relaxed...kind of like mommy. So, since mommy came up with Sophie Grayce and daddy came up with Stella Audrey (well...he came up with Stella), we decided that Baby A will be Sophie Grayce and Baby B will be Stella Audrey! Now that you both have names, mommy and daddy talk to you all the time. Everyone we tell your names to loves them so I think we did a good job. We hope you like your names too!

Aside from names, mommy has been playing lots of music for you. It has mainly been classical, OM/soothing type music but I plan to start playing some opera because you
both seem to enjoy it...that or you are kicking me to get it to stop! You have both been very active lately. Last night, Aunt Jessica and I took your cousin Alyssa to see Disney on Ice Princess Classics. You two were kicking like crazy during most of the show. It was really funny! At one point, Sophie pushed so hard against mommy's belly that I could see a hard spot (head or butt) protruding from my belly!

Today, you are both on your second plane ride.
Your first was a very long trip to Maui, Hawaii. Today we are on our way to Las Vegas, NV because mommy has a work conference there. You two have been very active and were kicking for most of the car ride to the airport. Daddy has been very sick, I think he has the flu or something so I've been trying to keep my distance so you two stay healthy. Daddy is on the plane with me and we plan on doing a little sightseeing today and tomorrow. Mommy is also getting her first pregnancy massage tomorrow while daddy gets a Swedish massage. Our list bit of real relaxing before you both enter this world!

We love you so much and cannot wait to meet you, Sophie & Stella!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

18 weeks 6 days - February 6, 2011

To our two precious babes:
Well, mommy and daddy had their first "big" appointment on Tuesday, February 1st. We had a two hour ultrasound where they check all the measurements and developments to date of both of you. It was really funny to watch. When they do the ultrasound, you both have names so the doctors can keep track of your measurements individually. You are called Baby A and Baby B. Baby A will be the first one to come out and is on mommy's right side and is head down, while Baby B is on mommy's left side with your head facing up above my belly button. Baby A sits back in the belly a little more, so I don't feel movements as strongly but I have to say that during the ultrasound you were both pretty active. While we were looking at Baby A, trying to get a good shot of the face, Daddy asked "what's all the other movement going on?" The sonographer said, "oh those are Baby B's feet." We started laughing because you two are positioned yin-yan style you kept kicking each other in the head! Is this what we have to look forward too?

So the sonographer continued with the ultrasound: perfect size, 50th percentile in development and weight (8 oz.), then she said "ok, hold're having a beautiful little princess." Mommy got tears in her eyes and daddy's face lit up. We were both so excited! We couldn't wait to find out how Baby B was doing. So, Baby B was very active and always has been. You were the first one mommy felt and you are always kicking me. You are also closer to the front of mommy's belly, so it makes it easier to feel you. We went through all the same motions as with Baby A, size and weight: same as Baby A - 50th percentile and about 8 oz. Everything seems to be where its supposed to and is developing properly. Then came the time to find out what we were having. Mommy and daddy held hands and were wondering if it would be a boy or girl. I thought I saw the beginnings of an additional extremity, but I was wrong, because there were definitely two little dots which meant...another girl!

2 additional girls in our!! We were both in shock to finally know what we were having. I think part of daddy really wanted a boy, but we are both so happy and can't wait to hold you both and kiss all your fingers and toes!

The ultrasound was done, or so we thought when another doctor came in and said he wanted to take a closer look at a few additional things. Mainly the heard of one of you was the concern. During the ultrasound, a small piece of calcium was found in the hear and they wanted to make sure it was okay. Apparently, it is no cause for concern but it raises our chances very slightly for Down's Syndrome. Daddy and I got a little nervous but realized it didn't matter. We had elected to do no fetal testing unless necessary. With twins, most tests are less conclusive and what would we actually do once we got the results? We decided that we will take whatever the gods give us and love you both forever!

So, now we finally know we are having two girls. What will we name you? What will you both look like? Are you identical or fraternal? We can't wait to get the answers to these questions, and we can't wait for your arrival!

In other news, baby shower dates are set. We are having a family "ladies only" shower on March 26 and then a friends "Jack & Jill" shower on April 30. Your Aunts Ashleah, Jessica, and Ashley are hosting the March 26 one, and Aunt Ashley and Aunt Juli are hosting the April 30th one.

Mommy also bought the first clothing for you since we found out you are both girls. I bought these cute little crocheted hats from I got 2 ladybug berets, a dragonfly hat and a sunflower one. I'm not a fan of total "matchy-matchy" twins, as I think it is important for you both to create your own identities. That is why I don't plan on dressing you alike all the time.

Aunt Ashley and I also discussed the theme for the nursery. Mommy is very chic and loves things that are simple and beautiful, so we are going with green apple and raspberry pink, and black & white houndstooth pattern for the nursery bedding. I am really excited to start shopping for fun fabrics to use in the nursery! I plan on making your crib bedding and baby we'll see how that goes!

Love you both lots!