3 YEARS - 13 Sept. 2013

We're in Barcelona! :) We've been her for 3 days and we're staying for another 5! :) :) And it's making me realize just how much Liva and Laia have grown and developed this past year and a half since we left.
We go around the city using public transportation and walking a lot, Liva and Laia are doing so great! We walk around, look at things, go to restaurants for lunch and breakfast and they are so well behaved. We have been to some of the playgrounds we used to go to when we lived here, Liva and Laia are bored there - all the playthings are for little kids, not for big girls who like climbing, running, sliding, swinging etc. So we have found new playgrounds, as well as gone to some that they were too small for when we lived here.
Everything is so much easier with big girls! But now they can stop growing this quickly and just get a year older every 2 years....

3 YEARS - 30 Aug 2013

We live in such a provincial town, and I love it! This morning I decided to bring Liva and Laia to daycare in the stroller, they love it, and that way Albert can take the car to the station, which he loves. As we're walking down the stairs we meet our neighbor, she's on her way out for a jog. The girls sit down next to her on the steps while she's putting on her running shoes, and tell her that we're going to daycare in the the stroller because papa took the car.
We walk the stroller along the beach and through the forest, 15 minutes to get to daycare. There, I chat with some of the parents, the adults working there, and Liva and Laia get busy playing with their friends. I walk home along the golf-course and through the forest.
At home I check the map to see where I have to go for a meeting with a possible accountant. For those of you who might not know, I started my own little language school a few months ago, so I need an accountant. (On a side note, starting a company with a full-time working husband and 2 3-year olds is very exhausting! But that's a whole different story, and now that it's up and running I can only say it's been worth it! www.sunshinelanguages.dk). I figured it would take about 15 minutes to get to this accountant's office, hop on my bike, greet the neighbor who's just getting out of his car, then ride through the forest into town. I arrive about 7 minutes early, not realizing that this provincial little town really IS little, it doesn't take long to get from point A to point B. When I arrive, the accountant is on his office balcony, chatting to a friend on the parking lot. We chat for an hour, I get back on my bike to go home again. As I pass the train tracks, he lights start flashing and dinging, the level crossing closes getting ready for the train to pass. There isn't a person or car in sight, I am the only one who sees this, and I'm not even going that direction. But of course the level crossing has to do what it has to do when a train crosses, regardless of whether there are people out or not. As I enter the forest I see the train pass, heading the last 3 stops into Elsinore "center". I ride through the forest, greet the neighbor again, this time out with his dog, and arrive at home, where Tatanka is sprawled out in the middle of the street, enjoying life and waiting for his family to come home. He follows me up the stairs and in the front door, accepts my cuddles before running into the garden again. Now I'm home for a few hours before getting on my bike again, riding to the station (one of my favorite rides!) to go to class. My mom will pick me up after class since she works close to where I teach this afternoon, then drive me to Liva & Laia's daycare. They have some kind of summer party there this afternoon, where I've already agreed with 2 other moms we meet up and chat.
Some days I love life more than others! :)

The view on the way to Elsinore station

The view on the way to Elsinore station

The view on the way to Elsinore station

3 YEARS - 20 August 2013

Having twins is amazing, yes. and they have a lot of fun together, yes. But MAN it's exhausting as well!! I'm sure every parent with kids 2 years and up knows these phrases way too well: "Look at me!" "Look what I can do!", "Are you looking?" "Did you see me?", "You weren't looking properly, look again!", "I want to try again!", "Again!", "Again!", "No!", "Stop it!", "No, you stop it", "I don't want to!", "Why?", "No!", "Why?". "Why?", "I can do it myself!", "Can I have one?", "I want one!", "More!", etc, etc, etc. ALL DAY LONG! Now, imagine it double! Imagine, on top of all these expressions, you also get "What's she eating?", "I want one, too!", "I can do it, too!", "Now look at me!", "It's my turn now!", "My turn!", "Me, too!", "She did it, why can't I?" (even when it's something you've just told the other one she's NOT allowed to do!). And imagine at 4a.m. "Liva? Liva? Are you awake, Liva? I think I heard something! Liva? Let's go to Mom & Dad's bed, I heard something!" followed by the pitter-patter of 4 little feet and next thing you know, you have 2 more people in the bed. For the next 15-30 minutes you hear "Au!", "Move, I don't have space!", "Stop kicking me!", "Mom, she's kicking me!", "I don't have enough space", "Stop touching me!", "Move your legs!", "I was here first!", "Mom, tell her to move!". When we tell them to be quiet or go back to their own beds, they start crying, and neither of us can be bothered at 4 a.m.! So yes, having twins is also extremely exhausting! Luckily there are loads of giggles when they play together, and moments of pure enjoyment when we sit and watch them play or fool around. Double trouble, double fun, double love! :)

3 YEARS - 26 July 2013

Having twins is amazing! :) They have so much fun together now, and it's making life so much easier for Albert and me, and giving us a lot of good laughs!
The weather has been brilliant in Denmark the past couple of weeks, I bought a little pool for Liva and Laia, they can spend hours playing there. I sit on a chair with a magazine (not a book, nothing too gripping) and watch them play. Every now and then they'll yell "Look at me, look what I can do!", I look for a while and clap my hands in utter amazement (sometimes I really am amazed!!), and after a while they play again.
Our apartment is organized so the kitchen and living room is one open space. Lately while I'm in the kitchen cooking Liva & Laia play in the living room with their dolls. Their newest thing is bringing all their playfood to the ottoman in the middle of the room and having dinner with their babies, then putting their babies to bed, either on the couch or in the strollers. I help them dress and undress the babies, settle their twin-disputes, and look when they ask me to look at what they can do. But most of the time I cook, clean the kitchen and organize things.

Sometimes I do feel bad and wonder if I should spend more time actually playing with them, but I think (or at least I have told myself) that they have much more fun playing with each other. And of course I do play with them! We roll around on the couch tickling each other, when Albert comes home he plays hide-and-seek with them, then tickles them and throws them in the air, spins them around, plays airplane and whatever else. In the evening before going upstairs we all sit in the couch and read stories together, then we all 4 go upstairs together and Albert and I both sing to Liva and Laia, cuddle and kiss them, and make sure they have a good end to the day.

3 YEARS - 13 July 2013

This post is not actually from me, it's something I read via facebook a while ago, and it touched me deeply! Whoever wrote this hit it spot-on, and I just wanted to share it.

Dear Mom,

I've seen you around. I've seen you screaming at your kids in public, I've seen you ignoring them at the playground, I've seen you unshowered and wearing last night's pajama pants at preschool drop-off. I've seen you begging your children, bribing them, threatening them. I've seen you shouting back and forth with your husband, with your mom, with the police officer at the crosswalk.

I've seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty and occasionally swearing audibly when you bang a knee. I've seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic 4-year-old. I've seen you wiping your kids' boogers with your bare palm, and then smearing them on the back of your jeans. I've seen you carry your toddler flopped over the crook of your arm while chasing a runaway ball.

I've also seen you gritting your teeth while your kid screamed at you for making him practice piano, or soccer, or basket weaving or whatever it was. I've seen you close your eyes and breathe slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk. I've seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off your best designer purse. I've seen you pacing in front of the house.

I've seen you at the hospital waiting room. I've seen you at the pharmacy counter. I've seen you looking tired and frightened.

I've seen a lot of you, actually.

I see you every single day.

I don't know if you planned to be a parent or not. If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into the world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly. I don't know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined "motherly love" would feel like for your child. I don't know if you struggled with infertility, or with pregnancy loss, or with a traumatic birth. I don't know if you created your child with your body, or created your family by welcoming your child into it.

But I know a lot about you.

I know that you didn't get everything that you wanted. I know that you got a wealth of things you never knew you wanted until they were there in front of you. I know that you don't believe that you're doing your best, that you think you can do better. I know you are doing better than you think.

I know that when you look at your child, your children, you see yourself. And I know that you don't, that you see a stranger who can't understand why the small details of childhood that were so important to you are a bother to this small person who resembles you.

I know that you want to throw a lamp at your teenager's head sometimes. I know you want to toss your 3-year-old out the window once in a while.

I know that some nights, once it's finally quiet, you curl up in bed and cry. I know that sometimes, you don't, even though you wanted to.

I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever.

But it never does. The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges. Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights. And every day you do what you need to do.

You take care of things, because that's your job. You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner.

You drop everything you're doing to moderate an argument over whose turn it is to use a specifically colored marker, or to kiss a boo-boo, or to have a conversation about what kind of lipstick Pinocchio's Mommy wears.

I know that you have tickle fights in blanket forts, and that you have the words to at least eight different picture books memorized. I've heard that you dance like a wild woman when it's just you and them. That you have no shame about farting or belching in their presence, that you make up goofy songs about peas and potatoes and cheese.

I know that an hour past bedtime, you drop what you're doing and trim the fingernail that your 3-year-old insists is keeping her up. I know that you stop cleaning dishes because your kids insist you need to join their tea party. I know you fed your kids PB&J for four days straight when you had the flu. I know that you eat leftover crusts over the sink while your kids watch "Sponge Bob."

I know you didn't expect most of this. I know you didn't anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired or being the mom you've turned out to be.

You thought you had it figured out. Or you were blind and terrified. You hired the perfect nanny. Or you quit your job and learned to assemble flat-packed baby furniture. You get confused by the conflict of feeling like nothing has changed since you were free and unfettered by children, and looking back on the choices you made as though an impostor was wearing your skin.

You're not a perfect mom. No matter how you try, no matter what you do. You will never be a perfect mom.

And maybe that haunts you. Or maybe you've made peace with it. Or maybe it was never a problem to begin with.

No matter how much you do, there is always more. No matter how little you do, when the day is over, your children are still loved. They still smile at you, believing you have magical powers to fix almost anything. No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in playgroup, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy, and wise as could possibly be hoped.

There's an old Yiddish saying: "There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it."

Unfortunately, there are no perfect parents. Your kids will grow up determined to be different than you. They will grow up certain that they won't make their kids take piano lessons, or they'll be more lenient, or more strict, or have more kids, or have fewer, or have none at all.

No matter how far from perfect you are, you are better than you think.

Someday your kids will be running around like crazy people at synagogue and concuss themselves on a hand rail, and somebody will still walk up to you and tell you what a beautiful family you have. You'll be at the park and your kids will be covered in mud and jam up to the elbows, smearing your car with sugary cement, and a pregnant lady will stop and smile at you wistfully.

No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt this one thing: You are not perfect.

And that's good. Because really, neither is your child. And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience. Nobody knows what your child's squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying better than you do.

And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for
Best Mom in the World.

Congratulations, Best Mom in the World. You're not perfect.
You are as good as anybody can get.


3 YEARS - 11 July 2013

3 is so much better than 2!! It is amazing how much has happened with Liva and Laia over the past months. I assume it also has a lot to do with having moved from "vuggestue" to "børnehave", now they're suddenly the smallest kids among 3-5 year-olds - a lot to live up to when you want to be big girls.
They play really well together, especially with their little kitchen, and the babies and strollers they were given for their birthday. They can spend hours pretending their baby has pooped and wiping her bum, putting them in the stroller and going pretend-shopping or on pretend-vacation. When they go on vacation they give us hugs and kisses goodbye, walk slowly out of the living room while waving all the way, then come running back into the living room after 3 seconds wanting hugs and kisses; they've just come home after a long vacation, we should be happy to see them. Albert and I love this game, hugs and kisses are always great! (And we get to sit on the couch and do nothing except get and give hugs and kisses - perfect!).
They are also much better behaved, and much easier to reason with. They are starting to understand why they shouldn't do things, or why we get angry, annoyed, sad, irritated or whatever in certain situations. Of course they still throw tantrums and tease each other, and of course we are still about to explode at times, but it is getting better, and we can feel it. Every day a bit more.
I just wish Liva and Laia would learn to sleep in the mornings... They wake up somewhere between 5:30 - 6:00. It makes no difference if they don't nap, are put to bed later, the room is dark, whatever. If they don't nap they get cranky and impossible by 17:00, and the evening gets really long. If they are put to bed later they are just cranky all morning the following day, until they finally get to take their nap. We know it's not a 1-day thing, so we have tried for weeks to put them to bed later, hoping they'd sleep a bit longer in the morning. All we got were 2 cranky girls. So they still go to bed around 19:00, and are up and ready for the day before 6:00. Every day.... But at least they are usually rested and in a good mood, and Albert and I have the evenings to rest. We do sometimes feel like chicken when we collapse in bed by 22:00, but hey, that's been a long day for us... We'll probably miss it when they're teenagers, refusing to get out of bed in the mornings! :)

3 YEARS!! - 3 July 2013

Liva and Laia are 3 years old! No more terrible twos... Now for the terrible threes??
Well, we had a LOVELY birthday for them. It started Friday at daycare already, Liva and Laia are always so excited when it's somebody else's birthday at daycare, they come home and explain how they sang songs and ate birthday bread. So I felt really bad about them having their birthday on a Saturday and missing out on such an important event for them. The daycare is great, and when I asked if they could celebrate their birthday on Friday 28 June, 1 day before the actual day, there was of course no problem. Last week we went to a big department store in Hillerød, about 30 minutes away, and Liva and Laia got to choose their own plates, cups and napkins to bring to daycare. They were so proud! Since Iaia (grandma, Albert's mom) arrived from Barcelona Thursday evening, I had planned my Friday so I started work later and could let the girls be at home with her a bit longer. We then went to the daycare, where everybody wished them a happy birthday. They had a lovely day, I was told. Iaia and I picked them up early in the afternoon, and had a nice afternoon the four of us together. Saturday morning they got their presents from Albert and me, and from Iaia. I spent all morning baking bread and cakes, while Albert prepared a vegetable bread (a very delicious Catalan food-thing!) and the girls played with Iaia and their new presents.
Liva had asked for a purple cake with strawberries, Laia wanted a blue cake with blueberries. Their wish is my command... :)

After their nap, the guests came. Family and friends. They all brought nice presents and Liva and Laia were so happy! We ate the cakes, went for a stroll down to the beach, came home and had Albert's vegetable bread, then the guests all left again. A few minutes later our neighbor with 2 twin girls and a boy came by, they stayed for about 45 minutes. Liva and Laia couldn't have had a better day. They played until about 20:00 before we put them to bed, happy and exhausted. All in all a perfect day, everybody was happy and Liva and Laia are now 3 years old. What a milestone!

2 YEARS & 11 MONTHS - 20 June 2013

I was just looking at my blog information, and noticed I had 3 blogs. I have a blog called "Life with twins". I had no recollection what so ever of this blog, and started reading it. Turns out I actually started blogging while I was still pregnant. Talk about baby-brain or pregnancy-brain or whatever you want to call it, I seriously can't remeber having started this blog!
It blew my mind reading it, and brought back some long forgotten memories from my pregnancy. As I have mentioned (thousand of times!!) before, my pregnancy was not an easy one, I guess that's why I stopped writing about it. Having twins was (IS!) amazing, I guess that's why I started writing again shortly after they were born - a whole new blog instead of just continuing the one I had already started....
If you would like to read it, it's quite short, you can do so here. Have fun.
Oh, by the way, when you finish reading, I was in for another shock when I went to the hospital on June 28th and was finally told to stay - there had never been a planned cesarian, they had always planned on me giving birth naturally since Liva & Laia were perfectly positioned for a natural birth. I was terrified and begging for a cesarian, they refused. I am so happy about that now, the actual birth of my children is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced! And the only thing of the whole child-having process I would do again! But since I don't want to be pregnant again, and since I don't want to relive the first 6 months of baby life, it seems that giving birth is also not something that will happen again! :)

2 YEARS & 11 MONTHS - 6 June 2013

Oh. My. Goodness!! Where has time gone?? I didn't even realize Liva and Laia had turned 35 months because I have been so focused on the fact that they will be turning THREE this month!! I can't believe it! Though when I look at them, I can believe it! They are such big girls now! Part of me is so relieved that time is passing fast, that we're done with diapers and messy eating, that Liva and Laia can now communicate, play, do things on their own, have an opinion about things, dress themselves, laugh, fight, hug, hold hands, have friends, help around the house etc. etc. etc. All those things I couldn't wait for when they were still vomiting little poop-machines who only ate, slept and cried. But part of me is terrified! My little babies are turning three! They dress themselves, play, have an opinion about things, have friends (Laia even has a boyfriend!)... It really is true what people say, soon they will be off to college and mom and dad will no longer be the center of their universe... The moment I have been longing for has arrived, now it seems there aren't enough hours in the day to enjoy my 2 little bundles of joy. When I get angry with them I regret it right away. They are getting big so quickly now, I try to enjoy every second they want to spend with me.
Yesterday we had our first real playdate here in Denmark, at someone's house. Though we have met up with friends at playgrounds in the past, and though we have had one of their friend come here with her parents once to play, and we have been to their house for the girl's birthday, this somehow felt different. A family who have 3 kids at the same daycare as Liva and Laia (one of the boys is even in the same "class" as Laia) lives just around the corner from us. We had previously talked about letting the kids play, but it had never really happened. Yesterday was Denmark's constitution day, so we had the day off. In the afternoon I took the girls to this family's house, the kids had such a blast! The weather was brilliant so they had set up a tiny paddle pool in the garden, the 2 boys and Liva and Laia played all afternoon, sometimes inside, sometimes outside. I spent most of the afternoon relaxing in the sun, chatting with and getting to know the mom. The biggest boy is Laia's boyfriend, they are inseparable. Liva and the younger boy get along really well, but the love isn't there like with Laia and Oliver. :)
It is so much fun watching Liva and Laia grow up now, I am so happy with their age and amazed at the speed at which everything is happening. I believe this is where having twins starts getting really fun! And I am so looking forward to every second in the future with them!

2 YEARS & 10 MONTHS - 24 May 2013

What an amazing day! The weather is perfect, I had a lovely afternoon with Liva and Laia, and we had a great evening all 4 of us together.
I picked up the girls at daycare at 14:00 already, since we had an appointment at the ear doctor. Liva and Laia for reason love this doctor, and were thrilled to go. He is really good with the girls, and having their ears checked becomes a highlight in itself. When we were done there, we went grocery shopping, I told the girls that if they behaved and didn't ask for things all the time, we could go for ice-cream when we were done. I had 2 little angles who helped me find the groceries and were super behaved the whole time. So we went for ice-cream :). We sat at the square in Elsinore in the sun and watched the other people while Liva & Laia had delicious ice-cream and I had iced coffee, yum! On our way home, I saw the market next to our house this weekend had opened, so we went there. There were rides, horses and booths that sold all kinds of junk.... I bought a candleholder for us for outside, and a silly little cash-register toy for Liva & Laia.
When we got home, we played in the garden for a while, then went upstairs and started getting dinner ready. Albert came home a few minutes later, we had a lovely dinner all together. Liva & Laia were so happy and really well behaved, even though they were tired we had a lovely dinner. After dinner we played a bit, then got the girls ready for bed. Upstairs we played hide and seek with them, the girls were laughing so hard they could hardly stand at the end. At 19:45 we put them to bed, sang to them and after a few minutes they were both asleep. I hope the rest of the weekend will be just as lovely!

Laia riding
Liva riding