5½ MONTHS+ - 19 December 2010

Denmark is wonderful. There really isn't much to tell, we're enjoying the snow and not having to work. Albert & I went to Copenhagen one day without the girls, that was really nice! We went for lunch, bought pants for me (yes, my idea of losing enough to wear my regular pants by now didn't quite work.... I was sooooo sick of wearing my maternity pants, which are all too big, and it's too cold to wear skirts here!), had gløgg and æbleskiver ( you have to be Danish to know what that is, and how wonderful it is!:)), and just walked around enjoying the city. Another day we went to meet up with one of my best friends, her boyfriend and their 3-month old son in Tivoli, that was really nice as well. We've been to Elsinore, with and without the girls, we've seen my brother and his family a few times, today we went to a farm with my brother, my nephew Simon and my parents, and when we came home my sister-in-law and niece also came. We all had dinner together, first time ever with the girls.
Liva and Laia are really happy these days, laughing and giggeling all the time, They both have colds, especially Laia, and it disturbs her sleep. But she's a trooper and does great. They both have two teeth now, their bottom front teeth, and it seems there's another one on the way at the top. Feeding them dinner is pure pleasure lately, they do so well with a spoon, and most of the food actually lands in their mouth instead of on their clothes, high chairs, the floor, etc.
On Friday it's Christmas Eve, I am so looking forward to that. Tomorrow we're going to Elsinore again with the girls, to buy the last few christmas presents. Tuesday my brother and his whole family are coming again, Wednesday and Thursday we don't know yet. Friday we'll all be at my brother's place. It'll be the first year that we celebrate christmas just the four of us with our families, in the past it's always been with aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Right now I'm looking at the snow outside, the fire in the fire place and enjoying my husband, parents and (sleeping) daughters, thinking how wonderful life is! :)

ALMOST 5½ MONTHS - 11 Dec. 2010

We've been in Denmark for about a week now, and it's wonderful!
The trip here went fine, when we finally got to go on Monday. We were standing in the check-in line at the airport, when the check-in lady from the business counter came and said she recognized us from Saturday, she'd check us in at the business counter since there was nobody there. That was really nice of her! We got on the plane without problems, Liva fell asleep before take-off, Laia was awake. They had put us in different rows since it's not allowed to have 2 babies in the same row - safety regulations... But we were told they'd try to put us together, though the plane was quite full. Laia started getting restless and crying. As mentioned before, Albert doesn't have much patience when they cry and he gets annoyed. The girls notice this, and cry more. So the first 10 minutes in the plane were a bit of a disaster. But the stewards managed to find a way to get the 4 of us sitting together in 1 row with nobody else, Albert could put Laia more comfortably and eventually she calmed down and fell asleep. Around the time she fell asleep, Liva woke up. She was awake the entire flight while Laia slept the whole time. But there were no problems, we were picked up at the airport by my sister-in-law and arrived at my parent's house fine.
These days we've just been enjoying the snow, and being together as a family. My parents took care of the girls one afternoon while Albert and I went to Elsinore, this weekend my parents are in Hamburg and we're enjoying being just the 4 of us here.
It's so sweet seeing how the girls are bonding with Albert, now that he is home all the time and has time to play with them. They love being with him, just now when Liva woke up from her nap I was sitting with her while Albert was next to us making funny faces at her. Liva reached out her arms towards her daddy and smiled big-time when he took her. They have been playing for the past 20 minutes, and Liva loves it.
It's great having all this time together as a family, and for me and Albert to have time for each other.
I have to work a bit every day, I'm doing a translation. But it's OK, I work in the evenings after the girls are in bed, and only a few hours. The rest of the time I spend with my family, probably the best family in the world!

5 MONTHS+ - 5 Dec. 2010

We're still in Barcelona.... The Spanish aircontrollers decided to go on an illegal, unwarned strike Friday evening, completely stopping all airtraffic over the Spanish Peninsula. We called the phonenumber provided on the news and were told everything would be OK for Saturday, no worries. We were up until past midnight packing and getting the house ready for us being gone for almost 1 month, we got up at 5:30 Saturday morning, my mother-in-law came over at 7 to be with the girls and say goodbye for a month, and at 7:45 we got in the taxi to the airport. I had checked Spanairs website before leaving, everything was fine with our flight. We had seen on the news that there were lines of up to 100m. at the airport, so we wanted to get there early. The Spanair line to Copenhagen consisted of 3 people, so 30 minutes after arriving we were checked in and past the security control - 2.5 hours before the plane was scheduled to leave. No planes were taking off or landing, but people were optimistic and the mood at the airport was fine. We walked around looking at shops (spent way too much money on things we don't need, as you tend to do when you kill time shopping...), had a coffee, fed the girls who then slept on a bench for about 30 minutes. Eventually the information was that our plane would take off at noon, 1 hour delayed. There was no gate yet, so we walked around some more. Around 11 there was a gate number with the information that boarding time was 11:25. Shortly after there were calls for planes taking off, people at the airport started cheering and clapping. But then things stopped.... 2 planes took off, next thing we know is that all planes for the day are cancelled - including ours. We were told to leave the airport immediately, meaning dragging all our carry-on stuff down to the luggage-claim, finding our 2 huge, heavy suitcases and going back into the check-in area. It looked like something from a 3rd world country; people everywhere, luggage all over the place, chaos, people crying, yelling, sleeping, eating... The line to Spanair was horrifically long, so we decided to go home and call them instead of wasting more time at the airport.
We now have a new flight tomorrow, same time. The aircontrollers are back at work, but it's still chaos since all the people whose flights were cancelled Friday and Saturday had to be rescheduled. We are lucky that we're going for a month, 2-3 days more or less wont make a huge difference, though it's a shame. Dec 6 & 8 are holidays here, loads of people were taking a mini-break for 5 days, which has been ruined by the aircontrollers' illegal strike. But we get another weekend here in Barcelona, my mother-in-law gets another day with the girls, and tomorrow we'll start our vacation - again. We're so lucky that the girls are so good, a day like yesterday is no problem with 2 smiling little angels. We're not at all worried about travelling with them tomorrow, even if the plane will be delayed.

Barcelona airport 4 Dec. 2010

5 MONTHS+ - 3 Dec. 2010

Liva has started yelling - it has been going on for about 1 week now, and it's driving me nuts!! At first it was cute - she had just discovered she could make really loud sounds, and thought it was fun. Laia had her yelling-phase about 1 month ago, it lasted less than a week and she only yelled a few times a day. Liva yells and yells and yells.... Regardless of whether she's happy, angry, hungry, tired, playing, bored, etc, etc, etc. She just yells..... I've tried loads to make her stop - putting my hand over her mouth makes her laugh and yell even louder. Squirting water on her - like we do with the cats when we have to teach them they're doing something they shouldn't be doing - makes her laugh and eventually yell. This morning I "slapped" her with one finger on her mouth and cheek. She was surprised and didn't know whether to cry or laugh - in the end she chose to smile... And then yell some more.
Just to set one thing clear - I would NEVER slap my children! I use only one finger, and I don't touch her very hard. Liva is a very nervous girl, and needs quiet and tranquility around her. She can't handle loud noises and she's very easily shocked/surprised. The doctor told us that her unwillingness to sleep but sleeping like a baby (excuse the pun) when she finally sleeps is a typical sign that she's a nervous girl. She needs to feel safe, know what's going on and what will happen next. For this reason having a schedule is very important for her. And for this reason I had hoped that the element of surprise in "slapping" her with one finger would help her understand not to yell. But so far it hasn't worked...

Laia just woke up and is sitting on my lap, smiling like a little angel. Time to stop and go enjoy my girl, wait for Liva to wake up, and feed them their fruit. Then start packing and getting everything ready for tomorrow - we're off to Denmark for 4 full weeks, all 4 of us!! It's the first time the four of us get vacation-time together, and we're soooooo looking forward to it. We'll be staying with my parents which means help with the girls, which means time for Albert and me to relax and spend some time with each other. I'm sure it'll be the best December ever! :)

5 MONTHS+ - 1 Dec. 2010

There's blended fruit all over Liva, Laia, me and half the couch.... The pediatrician told us we could give them blended apples, pears and bananas with the juice of an orange when they were 5 months old. Today was the first attempt. I had put it in bottles with the hole made bigger, Laia did great and Liva, well......
When they got the first taste in their mouth, they both made a funny face. Laia started laughing, grabbed for the bottle with her little hands, placed it in her mouth and sucked almost 200 ml og blended fruit, until there was no more left. Liva gave it a second try, made another face and looked at me as if asking what in the world I was giving her. We kept trying for a while, but when Laia was half way through her bottle, Liva had eaten about 10 ml. I tried spoon feeding her, that worked for a while. When it stopped working, I went back to the bottle. Then back to the spoon. By this time Laia was done, watching her sister being fed and saying Mm Mm Mm Mm, which means "more" "more" "more" "more". I gave her a couple of spoonfulls and she was happy, but I didn't want to give her too much since it was the first time and she had already gulped down all hers. Eventually Liva had eaten about 2/3 and was crying - I don't want her associating eating fruit with something bad, so I decided to stop. Laia was still saying Mm Mm Mm, but she'll have to wait until tomorrow.

While I was feeding them we got a new addition to our family - my sister-in-law here in Barcelona had a little baby girl! :) Liva & Laia now have 5 cousins, Albert's brother's 3 children here in Barcelona Martí (4), Guillem (1½) and Berta (a few hours), and my brother's 2 children in Denmark Freja (4) and Simon (2). It'll be loads of fun when they're a bit older and can play together.

5 MONTHS - 29 Nov. 2010

Wow, how time still flies, I can't believe Liva & Laia are already 5 months old! And they are such sweet girls!! They laugh loads, Liva still struggles a bit with laughing out loud and normally ends up squealing with delight instead. They are extremely ticklish so it's easy to make them laugh.
Laia can turn over from her back to her belly, and no longer enjoys laying on her back - she wants to be on her belly all the time now. If it was up to her, she'd be sitting and standing but though she's clearly eager she can't do either without help. Neither can Liva. Liva loves grabbing things - she can pick up fallen things, and takes anything we offer her without problems.
Eating with a spoon is going OK, I've been "cheating" a lot and have been bottle-feeding them instead. It's just too difficult when I have to spoon feed both of them on my own. Yesterday Albert spoon-fed Liva while I cheated and bottle-fed Laia. But when she realized her sister was eating with a spoon, she refused to take the bottle and did great with a spoon. Actually, she normally always does great - Liva was the first to learn, but somehow forgot again. Laia took a bit longer, but now that she's learned it she's really good at eating with a spoon.
They make loads of sounds, even say real words such as "hej", "hola", "ja" and "Laia" (we are aware that they have no idea what they're saying!), and have recently started talking a bit with each other - they will mimick each other's sounds or take turns making sounds. They have also started smiling when they look at each other, but clearly still don't quite know what to do with this other person who's always there.
They also smile when they look at us, it's a wonderful feeling! When they sit on our laps with their backs to us, they turn up their heads and smile at our face. They smile and giggle when we kiss them, and half open their mouth when trying to return the kisses.
Laia loves Tatanka and he loves her! Liva doesn't care much for the cats, Tomahawk doesn't care much for the girls.

I'm also doing good, I've completely recovered by now - except for my body. I'm sooooooooooooooooooo fed up with being "fat". I know I'm not fat as such, but I'm fat compared to how I like to be. I still can't fit my regular pants and only wear skirts or maternity pants, it's sad! One day I managed to squeeze myself into my normal pants, and though I thought I had managed to hide my bulging stomach, Albert looked at me with panick written all over his face and asked whether I was pregnant again. Great, I haven't tried to wear my normal pants since!! And I refuse to buy new pants just because I'm too fat to wear the ones I have.
But when I look at our girls I don't regret for 1 second having gone through all this! They are such sweet girls and both Albert and I love them with all our heart!!

Liva & Laia

ALMOST 5 MONTHS - 28 Nov. 2010

A wonderful, wonderful weekend is coming to an end! On Fridays Albert finishes work early, this Friday the four of us went to a mall when he came home. After a while there we went home, fed the girls, bathed them, put them to bed, lit candles in the whole apartment and had a wonderful, quiet evening together.
Saturday morning we moved the girls' bed out of our bedroom into their own room. From now on they sleep in their own room, but for now still in the same bed. They're almost too big to share a bed, but since they'll have to share in December in Denmark we'll wait until January with putting them in seperate beds.
We then went to a Christmas bazaar at the Scandinavian club where we hung up a sign that we are looking for somebody to take care of the girls a few hours a week from January, hopefully we'll get some replies on that. After the bazaar we went to Rabassa, a shop with everything you could wish for for your baby in top quality. Since I know the owners quite well, we get "VIP" service and prices. We bought some things for the girls, went for coffee and a sandwich, and walked around Barcelona. Liva & Laia were in baby carriers on our bellies, dressed in a suit that made them look like polar bears. Everybody looked at them, many people made comments. I'm used to it and manage to ignore most of the looks and comments, but Albert isn't used to it at all and was chocked at the behavior of people - it seriously feels like we are aliens or something straight out of a circus!! But at least all the looks and comments are always positive, and we bring a smile to most people's faces, so it's OK.
Saturday afternoon my mother-in-law came over to take care of Liva & Laia while Albert cleaned the apartment and I cooked a 3-course meal. We had a friend over for dinner, and it was nice though it got quite late. I have no idea what we would have done without my mother-in-law and our dishwasher! :)
Sunday morning Albert went to vote for the Catalan parliament, buy bread, and get me a coffee. Around noon my father-in-law came over for lunch and in the afternoon my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his children all came over for coffee and cake. My sister-in-law is majorly pregnant and due in 5 days, so she stayed at home. It was a nice afternoon, Liva & Laia were so sweet and happy and charmed everybody. When everybody had left we cleaned up a bit, thanked god for the dishwasher once again, fed the girls, put them to bed and collapsed on the couch. Now I'll go get my massage from Albert, relax in front of the TV with my wonderful husband for a while, and go to bed. I will cuddle Albert as much as I can, and tell him how wonderful he is!! And tomorrow our little girls will be 5 months old....

ALMOST 5 MONTHS - 26 Nov. 2010

Laia rolled over from her back to her tummy today!! They have both been rolling over from tummy to back for a while, but never the other way. I wasn't even expecting it, they were on their playmat and Laia grabbed hold of one of the dangling toys. Next thing I know she had rolled over using the toy to help her. I praised her bigtime, then put her back on her tummy - she tried rolling over without the help of the toy but couldn't do it, so I helped a bit. She clearly enjoyed it, and got really mad when I put her back on her belly. I helped her roll over again, and she stayed on her belly for a really long time. Clever girl! :)

21 WEEKS - 24 Nov. 2010

AAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The girls just don't stop crying!! They are whiny all morning coz they're tired, I put them to bed and they start kicking their legs, waving their arms and screaming hysterically. It happened 3 times yesterday, they'd scream hysterically for about 5minutes until they eventually passed out. At the moment they've been screaming for about 15 minutes, when I go into their room it just gets worse. I refuse to take them out of bed again, they are sooooo tired and shouldn't learn that they'll get their way by screaming.
The hardest part is that it's been like this for 3 days now, and I'm alone with them all the time. Albert has more important things to do - Monday he called me from work to let me know he'd be home late, he had to get his hair cut. Great, I get to feed 2 crying girls who are still struggeling with learning how to eat with a spoon. Yesterday I fed them on my own as well, though after 25 minutes I gave up with the spoon and poured the porridge into bottles.
And anyways, Albert doesn't want to have anything to do with the girls when they are like this because "I can't stand babies when they act like that". Well, neither can I but somebody has to deal with them. That someone then turns out to be me... The other day Albert told me that taking care of the girls is my job, that's why I get paid for being at home with them. This is the lowest salary I've ever earned in my life - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with hardly any help - and no holidays!!
I hope this stops soon and that it's only because Laia has a cold and she works up Liva too with her crying. Thank god we're going to Denmark in 10 days and my parents will be there to help. I really don't know what to do anymore. And just to point out how bad it is, both girls have been crying all the time while I've been writing this, and are still crying... I'll go in there now and try to calm them down a bit, but I am so losing my patience with them that I'm not sure I can calm them down........

21 WEEKS - 23 Nov. 2010

Laia is fine. She had a regular cold and fever, no big deal. Liva woke up while they were at the ER and wouldn't go back to sleep, I guess she couldn't sleep without her sister. They've never slept apart before... Laia had a fever on and off all day yesterday and no fever today. She's been quite whiny, though, and it's starting to get to me. This afternoon Liva started getting whiny too, so I had two crying girls most of the afternoon. It drives me nuts, we're really soooo lucky that they are normally easy, happy, good girls, coz I would NEVER have survived 2 crying girls!

Today I had a meeting with my boss, from January I start working again. We agreed that I'll work 15 hours/week all from home! :) Beside that I've taken on some classes, and I have translation projects coming in. So basically I can be at home with the girls during the day and work in the evenings and at weekends when Albert is home. In September they'll start in day care, then I'll go back to work for real - though not full-time, I don't want my kids in an institution for 8-9 hours/day! This was just the solution we had hoped for, so we are of course happy!

ALMOST 21 WEEKS - 21 Nov. 2010

We have a sick child!! Poor Laia has a temperature of 38.2, Albert is at the ER with her now.
It started yesterday, we noticed she was quite hot and sleepy, so we took her temperature. It was at 37.4. An hour or so later we took it again, 37.6. When she reached 37.8 we called the doctor - we've never had a sick child before, neither of us knew what to do... It was Saturday so we couldn't get a hold of our regular pediatrician, we had to call the emergency doctor. She recommended some medication which Albert went out to buy, and we've been giving it to her over the past 24 hours. She seems OK, she's hot and sleeps a lot, but she eats fine and smiles, even laughs sometimes.
Before putting the girls to bed today, I took Laia's temeprature again, 38.2.... Albert panicks quicker than me, he wanted to take her to the ER straight away. I said it would probably be better for her to sleep. But 3 hours later she woke up and was whimpering. After an hour of trying to calm her - her temperature was at 37.9 - Albert called the emergency doctors again. They said to take her to the ER, because having a fever for 24 hours when she's been taking medication which should reduce it, is not a good sign. Of course we didn't want to wake up Liva, poor girl, so Albert is at the ER with Laia while I'm at home. Though I'm sure she's OK and that it's "just" a regular flu, I can't help worrying. My poor baby!!!!

ALMOST 20 WEEKS - 14 Nov. 2010

All week we've been feeding the girls porridge, on Friday I started using only a spoon, no more bottles. They're doing OK, Liva is quite good and eats most of what she's given. Laia struggles and spits out about as much as she manages to swallow. But it seems to work quite well, they eat around 18:00-18:15 (by then they're so hungry and tired we can't keep them waiting any longer), and are put to bed about 1 hour later. They still wake up early mornings and want a bottle, anytime between 5:00 and 6:00. When they wake up at 5:00 they eat and go back to sleep, when they wake up 5:30 or later they don't go back to sleep... So I definitely prefer feeding them at 5:00 and sleeping another couple of hours. Hopefully we can soon feed them at 19:00 instead if 18-ish like now, then they should be able to sleep through the night.

Today I went walking in the park with the girls, and saw loads of pregnant ladies or ladies breastfeeding their baby. And it made me realize how happy I am that those times are over for me! I absolutely hated being pregnant!! I felt sick for 9 months, didn't feel like eating most things, and most things I felt like eating I wasn't allowed to eat. My belly was huge and constantly in the way, I couldn't sleep at night, I could hardly walk towards the end, I didn't leave the house for almost 2 months.
Though I enjoyed breastfeeding - the almost 4 months it lasted - I am just so happy that the girls are older now. They are so much fun to be around now, they laugh when we play with them or tickle them, they look into ours eyes and smile, they make face expressions, they mimick our sounds and expressions, they cry when I get mad at them (doesn't happen often, but happens), they are just loads of fun now. They can almost sit up, they are much easier to dress and undress because they "help" - bend their arms and legs etc. I really don't miss the time when they were jsut small babies, eating, sleeping and pooping all the time. I love them more and more every day, and the way they look at Albert and me and smile makes me believe that they know who we are, and that they love us, too. They are my little miracles!! :)

19 WEEKS - 9 Nov. 2010

So, we gave the girls porridge last night. What a laugh!! They had barely slept all day, fell asleep around 17:00 and were woken up 18:15. That's the time they're normally put to bed, so they were completely confused. They hadn't eaten since 14:30, and when they finally got to eat it was a whole new thing. At first we tried with spoons, but that was really difficult for them. Since they were so hungry and so tired, we decided to put the porridge in a bottle and let them drink it. That worked quite well, they seemed to like it. Afterwards, around 19:30, we put the girls to bed. When we went to bed, we didn't wake them up - how weird, first time in more than 4 months that we didn't have to feed the girls before going to bed. They slept until 4:15 this morning, ate a regular bottle and slept until 7:15. Wow, I hadn't expected it to work!!:)
Today Albert came home from work late, so I had to feed them on my own. After trying various options, I eventually ended up giving Liva a new bottle especially for porridge which I bought earlier today, and Laia another bottle which we made yesterday, where we cut the whole quite big. It took me 1 hour to feed them 120 ml.... By the time I was done, Albert was home. We put on their pyjamas and put them to bed at 19:30, they went straight to sleep. It'll be interesting to see how long they sleep tonight.
The best part about not having to feed them at midnight is that I can go to bed whenever I want! Going to bed early was pretty pointless when I had to wake up around midnight anyway, but now I can go to bed whenever and just sleep. Nice!! So I'll go and have Albert give me the massage he's promised me, and then go to bed.

ALMOST 19 WEEKS - 8 Nov. 2010

Another doctor's appointment today. The girls are just as they are supposed to be, the doctor was very impressed at their size. And she said they were beautiful, sweet, happy and healthy - just like 2 little princesses. We were sooo proud! :)
Liva weighs 6750 gr. and is 65 cm tall, Laia weighs 6440 gr and is 64 cm tall.
We get to start with porridge today, but we have to change their entire schedule. After the clock changed, the girls have been going to sleep around 18:30 every day. We still wake them up around midnight to feed them, and they sleep until around 5, eat and sleep until about 7:30. Now we have to give them porridge around 19:00 and let them sleep through the night. Supposedly they'll sleep until the following morning. Hmmmm, we'll see about that....

ALMOST 19 WEEKS - 7 Nov. 2010

Today is Albert's birthday and we've spent the whole weekend celebrating! Well, kind of... Friday afternoon we all 4 went out after Albert came home from work. The girls hadn't been out all day since there were people here building up cupboards in our livingroom, something we've been dreaming about the entire year we've lived here.
Saturday morning Iaia came to take care of the girls while Albert and I went to the center. We did some shopping, then went to the Boqueria and bought a huge, expensive steak. Before leaving home, Albert had taken our bed apart and we had thrown it away since we've bought a new one. They called while we were in the center that they were coming to put it up. We rushed home, and by the time we got there, the new bed was already broken... The people who were supposed to put it up broke the head board - and no, it's not from Ikea..... They asked us if we wanted it anyway, which of course we didn't, and without the headboard they couldn't put up the bed. So we're now sleeping on our madras on the floor, fun....
Saturday evening, after putting the girls to bed, we cooked the steak from the boqueria along with salad, bread and a great wine. What a dinner! :)
This morning, after giving Albert his presents, we went out on the street - the Pope is in Barcelona and since he passed right by our house we couldn't really miss it... I'm not catholic and neither of us is religious, but seeing the Pope when he passes right by the house is a must. Afterwards we bought breakfast to take home, had a super relaxing day until the afternoon. We took the girls out for a walk, then went to my brother-in-law's house where there was a small family celebration for Albert. Then home, bathe the girls, put them to bed and wait for my mother-in-law. When she came over we went out for sushi. Poor woman, all she seems to do lately is babysit her grandchildren. But she says she enjoys it, we're assuming she's telling the truth.

18 WEEKS - 1 Nov. 2010

A 3-day weekend is coming to an end, and it's been a lovely 3 days! Saturday morning we took the girls to a playground for the first time. Since Laia loves "playing wild", and Liva is starting to quite enjoy it too, we decided to try the swings with them. We had expected Laia to love it and Liva to be a bit more hesitant, we were wrong! Liva laughed and laughed whereas Laia wasn't sure whether she should laugh or cry - we took her out of the swing before she could make up her mind. Since they're only 4 months old, we didn't stay long at the playground, and we didn't try out any of the other things there. We'll wait another few months before we do it again.

Today we went into town, and I wanted to have lunch. Most of the places we wanted to go to we couldn't get into with the stroller, so in the end we went to a Sirian restaurant - great food!! Just as we entered the restaurant, the girls woke up, and Albert was sure we should forget all about going in. But I convinced him to give it a try, and see how the girls would behave. Normally they are good girls, we had food for them, and there's no reason why they should cause any trouble. On the other hand, if they get bored they can be quite embarrasing... But they were sooooo good, we were so proud of them. They ate (well, drank, they still only get milk), and for the rest of the time they sat quietly in their stroller. Liva was tired and was half asleep most of the time, Laia was in a great mood and sat giggeling to herself. When we touched her or talked to her she laughed and laughed. For being only 4 months old, they are such good girls! We have really been very, very lucky!!
They sleep really well now, have been doing so for about 6 weeks. We put them to bed around 19:00 and they go straight to sleep, no problems at all. Laia sometimes wakes up, but all she wants is her dummy and a kiss, then she'll go right back to sleep. At midnight we feed them and then they sleep until 6-ish. Well, not today since the time has changed and we're now on wintertime. They woke up at 4:15 and wanted food, and instead of sleeping until 8:00 like they normally do, they of course woke up at 7:00. It has been a loooooong day today, that 1 hour changes our whole schedule, and it just makes the day seem much longer. So, I'm off to bed and hope the girls will sleep longer tomorrow!

4 MONTHS - 29 Oct. 2010

It's been a while since I've written, it's been a busy few weeks.
Most importantly, the girls are 4 months old today! They are soooo sweet! Of course they still ahve their annoying moments, but they are more and more rare, and most of the time they are happy, smiling, wonderful girls!
They can both turn onto their side when lying on their belly - Liva did it for the fist time today, and thought it was so much fun she wanted to do it over and over again.
They are long/tall girls, they can hardly fit size 6 months, especially their legs are long. They are more or less the same size, though Liva seems to carry a bit more fat than Laia. They are absolutely beautiful, and people still stop us on the street to comment on how gorgeous they are. I still get annoyed, but at the same time it's nice to know strangers find them beautiful as well.

My parents were here for 4 wonderful days this week, they left Tuesday evening. As always it was difficult to say goodbye, but it was easier this time, knowing we'll see them again in a bit more than a month for 4 whole weeks! I had a huge translation due on Monday which I was only about half-way through, so my parents took the girls out for some hours Sunday afternoon. It was the first time since they were born that Albert and I were at home without kids, and we couldn't even enjoy it since I had to work. When my parents came home, my mom helped me, and together we managed to finish the translation at about 20:30 Sunday evening. Thank god they were here!

Besides all this I've been spending loads of time on the internet trying to find more translation work or on-line teaching, since my dream is to only work 15-20 hours for the language school where I work, and supplement it with work like this, which I can do from home. That way I don't have to leave the girls for too long, and we'll save money on childcare. I'm due back at work in January, so it's time I find something. If you need any work like this done, know of anyone who does, or know where I can apply to this kind of work, please let me know!!

The girls don't sleep much anymore, 30-45 minutes. They're awake now, so time to go take care of my two little darlings!
Laia & Liva

17 WEEKS - 20 Oct.

Ugh, what a day!! Both girls have been whining ALL day!! Most of the day yesterday and aaaaaalllll day today. I think it's because Albert has just had 1 week off, there has been no noise in the morning and the girls have slept until 8:00, 8:15, some days even 8:30. Now Albert's back at work, his alarm clock goes off at 6:30 and he gets up around 7:00. Already then the girls start stirring. After his shower, around 7:30, there's so much noise that they wake up. Even though they're real tired they just won't go back to sleep. So they whine instead. They nap for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a day, not enough when you're not even 4 months old yet. The advantage is that by 18:30 they basically just collapse, so at least we have peace in the evenings. But it's tough being alone with them all day when they're like that. I can't wait until my parents come on Friday, even if it's only for 4 days - better than nothing!
To stop the girls whining I played loads with them today - Liva is so happy she has finally learned to laugh that she just laughs all the time, it's great. It's funny how different they are; Laia loves "playing wild" - she laughs like crazy when we throw her up in the air, swing her by the arms, play airplane, etc. Liva gets terrified when we do any of those things to her and starts crying. She's more into tickling, nudging, rubbing noses, etc. I think Laia will be a little gymnast when she gets older.

ALMOST 17 WEEKS - 18 Oct. 2010

We heard Liva laugh for the first time today - a real laugh! Laia has been doing it for a long time, and though it's easier to make Liva smile, she didn't know how to laugh. It annoyed her, sometimes I'd be playing with both of them and Laia would be laughing with all her heart. Liva would yell and make strange noises, and eventually start to cry because she couldn't laugh - or at least I assume that's why she would start crying. Last night when we were getting them ready to eat, Liva laughed. We wondered why and how, and nothing more happened - we almost thought we had dreamed it. But then this afternoon I was playing with both of them, and Liva laughed and laughed - Laia looked all surprised! Baby-laughter is just the sweetest sound in the world!

Our weekend was very nice! Saturday afternoon my mother-in-law came over again - poor woman! But she says she enjoys it! Albert and I went for a massage, I had 60 minutes of Thai massage, Albert had 30 minutes of foot massage. It had been my present from him for our 2 year anniversary. Afterwards we went shopping, bought clothes for me, and then went for shawarma (did I spell that right?), yumm yumm!! On the way home we bought bread at a great baker's, and bought some for his mom as well.
Sunday I met up with my mother-in-law and we took the girls for a walk in the park. I invited her to a coffee and croissant, and after a few hours I went home again with the girls. Poor Albert worked all week and all weekend - except Saturday afternoon - with the insulation in the living room. It looks great!!! And Sunday he even cooked dinner, what a guy! He had today off as well, he had hoped to finish the living room, but there's still a bit missing. My parent's are coming on Friday, hopefully it can be done by then.

Life is just perfect at the moment, the weather is wonderful - sunny and not too hot, the girls are super happy lately, Albert has been around the house for a whole week. What else could anyone ask for????!!!! :)

16 WEEKS - 13 Oct. 2010

We had a great 2nd anniversary, my mother-in-law came over at 9:00 and Albert and I left - went to pick up the minivan we had rented. We went to Ikea, Leroy Merlin, Toys R Us and some other places. Tuesday was a national holiday here, so many people had taken Monday off - I think they had all decided to go to the same places as us at the same time... We were stuck in traffic jams and spent hours and hours standing in line in the different shops. But we got everything we wanted, and actually enjoyed it. We talked a lot about what we had been doing at specific moments 2 years ago. At 17:00 we came home and Iaia (grandma) left - a short break before coming back at 20:00 so we could go out for dinner. We went to the hotel where we had the wedding-celebration.
The girls were on their best behaviour all day, Iaia was all dissappointed when she came at 20:00 that they were sleeping, and even more dissappointed that they hadn't woken up while we were out.

The last 2 days Albert has been working in the livingroom, putting up wooden boards on the ceiling, integrating lights etc. It's a lot of work, his brother came yesterday and helped a few hours. All I have to do is take care of the girls. Today I took them to the center to go shopping. I still get amazed at how easy they are, they just lie in the stroller and look around or sleep. So many people comment on how beautiful they are, and though I still get annoyed at all the attention, I get really proud with all the compliments! :)
Liva has started sucking her thumb - she was sucking it when she woke up this morning, when I tried giving her the dummy she spat it out and put her thumb right back in her mouth. Sweet! :) We're still working on lying on their bellies, Laia is really good by now, lifts up her head and chest. She rolls over, mainly to her left but she can also do it to her right. Liva gets totally angry when we put her on her belly, makes growling, complaining noises. But without noticing she's getting really good as well, though she doesn't turn around yet.

STILL 15.5 WEEKS - STILL 10 Oct. 2010

L'Avi - grandpa - came over today. He doesn't live in Barcelona, and since neither he nor we have a car we don't see him as often as we'd like. So he came over around noon, we had lunch and coffee and around 17:00 he left. It was nice seeing him again, and he was happy to see the girls.
The reason I've decided to tell this exciting information is to praise Albert, after all the criticizing I've been doing in the last posts. Albert cleaned the whole house - swept and vacuumed the floor, cleaned the bathroom, took down bags and bags of garbage - he cooked the entire lunch with no help, he cleaned the kitchen afterwards, and when he wasn't working he helped with the girls! So though I get really annoyed with him at times, I appreciate everything he does, and that happens more often than me getting annoyed! I guess that's why we'll be celebrating our 2-year wedding-anniversary tomorrow! :)

My mother-in-law is coming at 9:00, we've rented a mini-van and are going to Ikea, Leroy Merlin, Bauhaus etc. While I was in Denmark, Albert insulated the whole livingroom, we've bought wood to put on the ceiling to cover the insulation, and we need to buy some other things for it tomorrow. Once again, what a guy!
In the evening we're going out to dinner to celebrate. We've decided to go to the hotel where we held the wedding-dinner & party 2 years ago - it's not a very romantic restaurant, but we find the idea quite romantic (though maybe not very original?!). So my mother-in-law will get to spend the entire day with the girls, she's really looking forward to it.

STILL 15.5 WEEKS - 10 Oct. 2010

Just to finish off the story from yesterday, my mother-in-law called at 14:10 to say she wouldn't be at our place until about 16:00. Albert got mad at her over the phone, and after talking to her he decided to go grocery shopping. My mother-in-law doesn't like it when her sons are mad at her, so the poor woman rushed over here as quickly as she could, without having lunch or anything - and Albert wasn't even home. But at least she got to see the girls, and her and me had a good laugh about how silly men can be.

Laia rolled over this morning!! We've been practicing lying on the belly, Laia is getting really good, Liva still struggles and gets angry when we put her on her belly. This morning I decided to practice with them, and while I was helping Liva, Laia suddenly rolled onto her back! I put her back on her belly, and straight away she rolled to the other side, onto her back. We did it 2 more times, she seemed to find it quite fun, too. And I was just sooo proud of my little girl!! :)

STILL 15.5 WEEKS - 9 Oct. 2010

MEN!!!! The girls have a fixed schedule which I keep during the week - they wake up around 8, and sleep again aroung, 10:00, 13:00 and 16:00 for approximately 45 minutes. I didn't create this schedule, they did.
Today we wanted to go to a shop with antique furniture but at the same time Albert's mom's coming over at 14:00, so I said to Albert already yesterday it might be difficult to make it. The girls are used to taking their 1 o'clock nap in the stroller, but at 10:00 they sleep at home - it's too early to leave anyways, we can't all get showered and ready for 10:00.
At 10:45 Albert asks - for the second time - when I want to leave. I tell him - for the second time - that it depends on the girls' schedule and when they wake up. So he says "OK, so you want to leave at 13:00 or what?" Completely unneccessary since Laia was already awake and dressed, we just had to wait for Liva to wake up. But I know Albert and his pissy moods, so I woke up Liva, poor girl. As I was dressing her, Albert wanted to put Laia in the stroller, but I told hin to wait because they had to eat first, and I had to prepare milk for them as well. So he gets all pissed and says that OK, as always we'll do what I want. I try to explain that it's not what I want, I would also like to go to that shop, but now we have 2 little girls in our life, we have to do what they want. He didn't seem to believe me, it was what I want - as always.... So I feed the girls, and think that maybe Albert would prepare the milk or the stroller or something. Wrong.... After feeding them I prepare milk, prepare bottles to take with us in case the girls get hungry while we're out, and I get the stroller ready - forget their teddies, blankest and parasol. We go for a walk and don't talk the entire time because Albert's in a bad mood. We get to Diagonal with Bruc and I tell him that my work has rented a place somewhere around there but I haven't seen it yet. He asks why they have rented a place and I tell him it's because they need more space for classrooms. "They could set up a day-care for the kids then, too" was his reply. Followed by silence... I enventually say "Why doesn't your work do that, there are parents working there, too?" Followed by silence.... Nothing more was said on the walk. What a great way to ruin a perfectly nice Saturday, all just because we couldn't go to the shop he wanted to go to. And had it not been for his mom coming at 14:00 we could have made it without problems, so you could say it's his own fault - but of course he'd never say that!

15.5 WEEKS - 7 Oct. 2010

I taught today for the first time in 2010, 3 5-year olds so it was quite easy. I have to be there between 18:00 and 18:15, it's only 5 minutes from where we live. I checked with Albert that it would be possible before confirming the classes with the mothers, and was told that yes, no problem, he can be home in time. Suddenly last night it was a huge problem, it would be really difficult for him to get home on time. All day today he was all pissy when I spoke to him, he's busy at work, it had been really stressful having to leave, what do we do if one Thursday there's a problem and he has to stay longer, etc. So the joy of starting teaching again was pretty much killed by a pissy husband. He came home at 18:10 and I arrived 5 minutes late to class - I could probably have made it on time had I known there's a bicing-parking right next to the house where I teach.... But it wasn't a problem, I just taught 5 minutes longer and that was that. When I came home, Albert was still in a bad mood and insisted I move the class 30 minutes or so. I tried explaining that the mothers had wanted class at 18:00, the kids are only 5 years old and can't have class so late. And what was his reply?? "What's going to happen to them, are they going to explode or something?" Man, sometimes he can be soooooooooooooooooooo annoying!!! So now I'm looking for somebody who can come watch the girls for 20-30 minutes every Thursday so I can enjoy teaching again and avoid anymore stupid comments from my husband!
Teaching again was great, the kids are really cute. And riding a bike again was wonderful, I miss doing exercise and riding my bike all over Barcelona.

15 WEEKS - 5 Oct. 2010

Last night I fell asleep on the couch at 21:00, Albert woke me up about 30 minutes later and told me to go to bed, he'd take care of preparing the food for the girls etc. So I went to bed and slept until 23:30 when we had to feed the girls. I guess it was needed, I hadn't realized how tired I was! Today there's a program on Spanish TV - Pillars of the earth miniseries - which I quite enjoy, but it finishes late, close to 1 in the morning. My lovely husband told me to enjoy the program, he'd feed the girls, prepare the bottles etc. There are some advantages to not having a lot of milk and therefore not breastfeeding at night! :)

14.5 WEEKS - 2 Oct. 2010

We bought a single stroller today, the double one we have doesn't fit in most elevators here so I sometimes feel kind of stuck. Now I can take the girls to my work again, I can get around supermarkets etc.

The girls have started interacting a bit - when we put them next to each other they sometimes look at each other and then they start laughing. It's not much, but it's a beginning :)

3 MONTHS - 29 Sept. 2010

WOW, 3 months! How time flies!! The girls are doing great, they are growing and are beautiful. They fit the clothes for 3-month olds, so we guess they are normal size - though the pants are all a bit short, hopefully this just means they'll have long legs:). They are good girls, easy and happy! Liva cries a lot less than she used to, Laia cries a bit more, so it's more or less even now. They only cry when they're hungry, tired or need to be changed. When they're hungry they "tell" us, they make a sound something like "ging", which we assume means food.
Their eye color has changed, it's a really pretty dark blue, kind of like the color of dark blue jeans. They can hold their heads, and when put on their bellies they lift up their head, shoulders and chest.
They don't interact much yet, they don't look at each other and there's no form af communication between them in any way. They like touching each other when they're next to one another, they'll touch hands or put their hand on the other's leg or so. I don't think it'll be long until they'll start communicating a bit - laughing or "talking" together.
Liva talks loads. She'll have deep eye contact and garble away using all the sounds she knows, while smiling and changing her face expression. It's adorable. She has discovered her hands and find them the most fascinating thing ever. She's really good at hitting the dangling toys on their playmats and chairs. It's easy to make her smile, and she has her mother's temper - she can go from smiling to crying to screaming back to smiling all in just a few minutes.
Laia doesn't talk as much, and it's not as easy to make her smile. But when she smiles, she giggles. She has discovered that she can create different sound volumes, when we enter a building she yells, if it echoes she giggles and yells louder. She can grab things and can almost put them in her mouth. She loves putting her hands in her mouth, the deeper the better. She has her father's temper, she doesn't easily show her emotions, but when she does there's no doubt how she feels.
They are very loving girls, they love being held and cuddled - by anyone. They have started "hugging" when picked up, it's a wonderful feeling!
They don't sleep much during the day anymore, 2-3 times, enough for me to shower and get ready in the morning. They sleep really well at night, we put them to bed around 20:00, they sleep until we wake them up around midnight to feed them, then again until 6-ish and again until 8-ish.

As for me, I'm doing good, too. I had reached my pre-pregnancy weight about a month ago, and saw this as the perfect excuse to eat loads of chocolate. But since the girls don't breastfeed much anymore, I can't eat what I want, so I've gained loads of weight again in the past couple of weeks. So now I'm on a ½ diet, which basically means less chocolate and more fruit. I got my period this morning for the first time since becoming pregnant. I guess that's also related to not producing much milk. I feel really bad about not being able to breastfeed my babies, I know it's my own fault, I didn't breastfeed as much as I should at the beginning so now my body isn't producing enough milk. I've tried breastfeeding more this past week, and am pumping milk even though there's nothing to pump. But it doesn't seem to help, there's less and less milk every day:(.
As every new mother, I worry about being a good mother. Besides the breastfeeding, is there anything else I'm doing wrong / could do better? Are they eating enough, sleeping enough, getting enough fresh air? Or are they eating and sleeping too much, getting too much pollution in their lungs? Should I be taking them down to the beach more? Or maybe even out of town? Are they happy? Are they bored? Will they grow up to be happy, confident girls who know their parents adore them? So many questions to which I'll probably never know the answer.
But when they look at us and smile or giggle, their eyes shining, I'm pretty sure they know we are their mommy and daddy and love them with all our heart. And I'm pretty sure they know they are our daughters. And I'm pretty sure they love us, just because we love them. I hope they'll always know they are loved, that they come from a family with a lot of love which extends to their grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins as well. I hope that whatever we're doing, we're doing right. I hope they know they are my dream come true!

Liva & Laia

ALMOST 3 MONTHS - 26 Sept. 2010

We took the girls out all day for 2 days this weekend, and they did just great!! Friday was the Mercè, Barcelona's Patron Saint, a public holiday which meant Albert was home. We had a great, relaxing day where we spent most of the day at home just enjoying being together as a family. In the afternoon we went to visit my mother-in-law at my brother-in-law's house, she's taking care of their 2 boys (almost 4 years and 16 months) for 4 days while my brother-in-law and his wife are in Berlin for the annual Berlin marathon, bless her!
Saturday morning we went to IKEA, as everyone knows that's a pretty stressful experience! But we managed to buy everything we came for (and a lot of stuff we didn't come for!) without arguing or killing anyone. The girls did great! While we waited for some of the things we had bought, I fed the girls. Albert rode home with some South Americans who are always at the entrance offering cheap transport, while I took public transportation back to Barcelona center. We met in the center and went to a DIY center. After spending time there we were hungry so went for sushi. All the time the girls were in their stroller sleeping or looking around - as much as they can look at only 3 months... We left at 9:15 in the morning and didn't get back until 7 hours later. The girls were sooooo good all day, we were so proud of them!!
Time came to put them to bed, they were extremely tired so I tried putting them to bed 1 hour earlier than normal. Liva cried and cried until she eventual started screaming hysterically. Laia started getting all nervous because of Liva's screaming, so Albert took her into the livingroom. I stayed with Liva for about 30 minutes, I was adamant not to give up - she has to learn! Eventually she was so hysterical that there was just no way she'd calm down, and we were both quite worried - we've never seen her THAT bad before. Suddenly it struck me that they hadn't eaten much all day, and they hadn't eaten for hours. We fed them, and Liva ate like her life depended on it. Poor girl , she must have been soooo hungry, and her mean mother just let her scream for 30 minutes. Man, I felt horrible, once again I felt like the world's worst mother!! As soon as we put her in bed after she had eaten she fell asleep straight away.

Today I met up with a friend in town and took the girls along so Albert could clean the house :) We were out for 4 hours, and once again the girls were great! When we came home they ate, played for a while and then we bathed them. We chilled on the couch all 4 together, fed the girls and put them to bed. They slept straigh away (Liva actually fell asleep while eating), and have slept until now - time to wake them up for their last feeding of the day. If all goes well they'll sleep until around 6 tomorrow morning, eat and sleep again until 8 or 9.

I love my girls, I love my husband and I absolutely adore my life!!

STILL 12 WEEKS - 23 Sept. 2010

As if to prove just how wonderful they are, the girls slept through the night last night. We put them to bed around 20:00 and they fell asleep quickly - they were tired coz I'm trying not to let them sleep much during the day.
Laia woke up at 22:30, we played a bit with her and around 23:00 we fed her, then put her back to bed. At 23:30 we woke up Liva, fed her and put her back to bed. They both slept until 6:30 this morning, ate and went back to sleep, Liva until 9:00, Laia I woke up at 10:00. How wonderful, I hope this trend continues!!:)

Today we went out and as always I had loads of people making comments on the street - some actually stop me so they can look at the girls and make comments. At the beginning I enjoyed it, I got really proud. Now it just annoys me that I can't walk on the street without feeling like something out of a circus.... And what really pisses me off is when people ask whether they are boys or girls. Come on, they are dressed like girls and have pink or purple blankets. Often people reply "well, they aren't wearing earrings, so I wasn't sure". People in this country are obsessed with earrings for baby girls. Today the girls were dressed completely in pink and white - pink & white socks, pink pants, a pink and white top - even their dummies were pink and white. And STILL people ask me whether they are boys or girls. I get sooooo annoyed!! Today I felt like replying "2 boys but I want them to grow up gay!" Unfortunately I've been brought up well, so I just smile and say "2 girls". And since I don't want to pierce their ears - I don't think it's for us to make that decision, and I don't think it looks nice when babies have their ears pierced - I guess I'll have to live with that question, even if I dress them in pink.

STILL 12 WEEKS - 22 Sept. 2010

I took the girls along to a job interview today... Well, not really! I had to meet three mothers who are interested in English classes for their 5-year olds. They were all lovely, the kids were just adorable, 2 girls and a boy. They loved Liva and Laia, especially the 2 little girls had fun.
So in October I start teaching these 3 little kids, I'm really looking forward to it. I'll have to leave as soon as Albert comes home, and he'll be alone with the girls for about 1½ hours once a week. That'll be so great for him and the girls! And it'll be good for me to get out of the house and do something else again.

12 WEEKS - 21 Sept. 2010

Today the girls slept until 9:30, bliss!! We've actually been very lucky, they've been good sleepers since day 1. Normally they fall asleep at some point between 19:00 and 22:30, we wake them up around midnight when we go to bed to feed them. When they were smaller they'd wake up at 3:00, 6:00 and 8:00/9:00, now they sleep until around 5:00/6:00 and wake up again when Albert gets up at 7-ish. Normally I can get them to go back to sleep until about 8:00/8:30. So I really can't complain about not getting enough sleep! Having twins is no where near as hard as we had expected it to be! :)

The girls and I met up with a German girl today, who lives here in Barcelona and is also pregnant with twin girls. She's due in December, it'll be fun to share experiences with another twin mom - it was already fun sharing twin-pregnancy experiences.

We bought activity mats for the girls last week, a great thing! They can spend a looong time playing on the mats, and it gives me time to do other things (like write this blog).

We are constantly reminded how lucky we are, Albert's best friend's girlsfriend just lost the baby she was carrying, she was almost 3 months into the pregnancy. One of Albert's colleagues recently had a baby and now suffers from depression and finds it very hard to deal with everything, the baby cries a lot and doesn't sleep at night. Our girls are so sweet and easy, it's a true blessing!!

2.5 MONTHS - 16 Sept. 2010

Today a colleague/friend came over. It was the first time she came to see our apartment and our girls, and I suddenly realized how my prioroties have changed:
1) Make sure the girls are happy and look presentable - bottles clean and ready to go, food prepared, that they are clean and wear clean clothes
2) Make sure the apartment is presentable - get rid of the dirty dishes in the kitchen (with our dishwasher I don't understand why there even were dirty dishes!), get rid of the clothes lying all around the house, and tidy up a bit
3) Make sure I look presentable - shower, get dressed, put on make-up if there's time (there was)
4) Clean the house a bit if there's time (there was, I managed to vacuum the floor)
Not that the person who came over would have cared at all, but it was a good motivation for me to get our apartment looking decent again.

After she had left I went looking for Tatanka, our black cat. As I did so, I banged my toe against a chair and now can't walk properly on my left foot. On top of that I have the flu with fever and everything...:(

Yesterday we decided to finally start a bed-time routine for the girls. We bathed them, put on their pyjama, fed them and put them to bed. Laia fell asleep right away, Liva cried and eventually screamed hysterically. Normally she would win in the end, and we'd bring her into the livingroom and let her fall asleep on 1 of us or on the couch. Last night we stayed with her in the bedroom, she was in bed while we held her hand, stroked her head etc for the 30-45 minutes it took for her to realize she wasn't going to get her way this time. Eventually she fell asleep, and slept until we woke her up around midnight to feed her.
Tonight I didn't bathe them put I did put on their pyjama, feed them and put them to bed. Liva lay there and looked around a bit, got comfortable and went to sleep. Laia tried crying for a couple of minutes, but soon realized it wasn't getting her anywhere, so went to sleep as well. Albert and I could actually have dinner together, talk about our day and cuddle on the couch. I hope this is how it'll be every evening from now on!

STILL 11 WEEKS - 15 Sept. 2010

The girls were born with a kind of de-formation at their ears, little bumps that shouldn't be there. According to the doctors it's normal and hereditary - Albert has it as well - but all babies born with it need to be checked since it could be related to a malfunction of the kidneys. So today I took the girls to hospital and they were given an ultra-sound. It was all quite surreal, they were taken into a room where pregnant women are also checked, and the doctor used the same machine as had been used on me 100s of times during my pregnancy. These little people were put on this huge bed and their tiny bellies were scanned with this huge scanning instrument.
They both started laughing when the doctor put the cold gel on their bellies :). There was a nurse there to take care of one girl while the other was being scanned, she fell completely in love with both of them, even went to the other rooms to get the other nurses to come look at these two beautiful girls.
While waiting for the elevator, I got talking to an American patient. He told me he's an identical twin himself. After a while he said "your husband must be a praying man." "Why do you say that?" I asked. "He must have at some point in his life prayed to be surrounded by beautiful women. Now he's got 3 of them. Lucky guy! Tell him to be careful what he wishes for, coz he seems to get it." Aww, that might have been really cheesy but I still thought it was kinda sweet - yes, I'm a sucker for compliments.... ;)
As I'm walking home with a caramel frappuchino in one hand and pushing the double stroller with the other, I have another "I love Barcelona!"-moment. The girls are either sleeping or half-sitting in the stroller, the sun is shining, they sky is blue and my husband has already called twice today just to see how we're doing. What more could anyone wish for?!?!?

11 WEEKS - 14 Sept. 2010

I AM THE WORLD'S WORST MOTHER!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to cut Laia's nails - it's not the first time I cut the girls' nails - and I cut her finger!! She cried and cried and cried, and blood flowed and flowed and flowed!! It wouldn't stop! It bled so much I couldn't even see how bad the damage was. Eventually I started crying and then Liva started crying. I was all alone, I had NO idea what to do. So I called Albert at work. He suggested I go to the doctor. I wasn't showered or dressed, the girls were just in diapers coz it's quite warm, and I couldn't think straight. Laia had stopped crying, but I hadn't.... I eventually managed to get the girls and myself dressed, all while still crying though Laia had long stopped, but when I could think clearly for a moment I realized Laia seemed OK, and her thumb had stopped bleeding. I took a close look, and the damage really wasn't that bad, at least not bad enough to rush to the doctor. Laia is OK, but I have felt extremely guilty all day. I NEVER want to hurt either of my girls ever again!! Once again, Albert was just incredible! Besides telling me that it's OK, it's what happens, it happens to everyone (I still feel horrible and am not sure I believe him!), he offered to give me a massage tonight. AND when Laia wouldn't sleep and I could do nothing to calm her down, he took her and walked around the house with her until she fell asleep in his arms. What a man, what have I done to be so lucky?

STILL 10.5 WEEKS - 10 Sept. 2010

We bathed them in their new tub today, they loved it. It was so sweet to see them splash around, especially Liva. It has a built-in seat so we don't have to hold them much, which lets us play with them in the water instead. I'm already looking forward to bathing them again! :)
Now my mother-in-law is here and Albert and I are going out to dinner, no kids! :)

10.5 WEEKS - 9 Sept. 2010

Another doctor's appointment today, their 2-month check-up. When Albert came home from work we took a child each in a baby carrier and off we went. We had estimated the girls to weigh between 4 and 4.5 kgs, last time they were weighed was about 1 month ago and they weighed 3.5 kgs. Were we surprised to find out that Laia weighs 5220 gr and is 58 cm, and Liva weighs 5400 gr and is 59 cm. Wow, how they've grown!! No wonder they can't fit half their clothes anymore.... Reflexes, sight, hearing etc all OK. They hold their own heads, they love standing and they're developing just as they should. We were told to put them on their belly more, they had no idea what to do when the doctor put them face down. They should be able to lift their head at least a bit from this position, but they both just lay there like a sack of potatoes, looking all confused. We haven't been putting them on their belly at all, no wonder they don't know what to do. So that's the next project with them, teach them to lift their heads when on their bellies!
After the doctor's appointment we went to Babies R Us and bought a huge bathtub for them. They love being bathed, we came home too late to try it out today but we'll definitely bathe them tomorrow.

10 WEEKS - 7 Sept. 2010

Back in Barcelona! The flight home went OK, not as easy as the flight to DK, but nothing worth writing about. We were 3 hours delayed, the waiting time at Copenhagen airport was tough. But we made it, and it was soooooooooooooo good to see Albert at Barcelona airport!! We went home and had a nice, relaxing evening together. Though I miss my family & friends in Denmark, Barcelona is where I feel at home.

ALMOST 10 WEEKS - 5 Sept. 2010

My mom's family have been here all weekend. They came Saturday afternoon, we celebrated my cousin's son's 4th birthday. It was fun seeing everybody, and it was nice being told once again how lovely our girls are. Once again everybody wanted to hold the girls, and once again they were on their best behaviour, my proud mother-heart was about to explode with pride and love! This evening it only got better, my parents have friends over and have been playing bridge all day. I took my girls and met up with a friend, I didn't feel like spending the day with my parent's friends and disrupting their game.
We came home around 7 pm as they were just finishing the last hand. But everything stopped when we came home, and everyone crowded around me to see the girls. I had Laia in my arms, Liva was still outside in the stroller - I can only pick up 1 girl at a time from that stroller. So my dad, the proud grandfather, rushed out to get Liva, and both my parents glowed as their friends admired the girls. I took the girls to the back of the house, bathed them, fed them and put them to bed. My parent's friends apparently commented on various occassions how incredibly beautiful and well behaved the girls are, and that it's incredible there isn't a sound with 2 2-month old babies in the house. I can only agree! :)

2 MONTHS - 29 Aug. 2010

We've been in Denmark for a little over a week, and it's been great. The weather is wonderful for Danish standards, though a bit too cold for my likings! The girls get goosepumps when they are naked, and I've had to go out and buy warmer clothes for them. But we're all having a great time, I heard Laia laugh for the first time. Both girls laugh a lot, but without sound, they just kind of open their mouth and look happy. But the other day Laia actually laughed! :) They have both started "talking" loads, they're slowly becoming aware of each other though they strangely enough don't really look at each other. They like looking at people, focusing on their faces, even my niece and nephew, but not each other. They hold their heads really well, and prefer sitting to lying. They are totally sociable and are happy to be wherever there are people.
We miss daddy a lot, and take loads of pictures which we e-mail to him every few days. He shows them to his mom as well, this way we can all feel a bit closer though we're almost a whole continent apart.

Laia & Liva

ALMOST 8 WEEKS - 22 Aug. 2010

Success!!! The girls were great!! Albert helped me to the airport, we checked the suitcase in without problems. I had Liva in a baby carrier on my belly and Laia in the carseat. Getting through security was fun, I had to take out Liva, walk through the security gate while one of the guards held her and the carseat with Laia. I then had to go back, take Liva, go through the gate again, give Liva to one of the guards on the other side, go back to take Laia and walk through the gate again. The guards helped me put Liva back in the carrier and off I went with my 2 girls. The carseat fit on the trolleys in the airport, so I could push Laia around.
Laia slept practically from we left home until the following morning in Denmark. Liva was awake most of the time in the airport and on the plane, but since she's such a curious girl she just looked around with her huge, blue eyes and was impressed and entertained by everything around her.
One of the stewards on the plane kept coming over and making sure we were all OK, he helped as much as he could, helped me carry the carseat all the way to row 27, placed the seat correctly for me, showed me how the seatbelt for babies worked, and made me feel safe and comfortable throughtout the entire flight. THANK YOU for that!
In Denmark a kind couple got me a trolley once we were off the plane so I didn't have to carry the girls around, and at Copenhagen airport they let my dad into the luggage claim area to help me get the suitcase. Thank you to all these people!!
We arrived at my parent's place late, almost at midnight, but it was so worth it! Liva fell asleep in the car on the way there, and both slept until 5 the next morning, ate and slept again until 8.
Today my dad's entire family has been here. My grandmother and 1 of my aunts broke into tears when they saw the girls sleeping on the couch when they arrived. Everybody wanted to hold the girls, and I had loads of volunteers when they had to be (bottle)fed. Once again the girls were on their best behaviour, smiling and charming everyone, hardly crying at any point. A perfect day, though we missed Albert!

7.5 WEEKS - 20 Aug. 2010

Oh my, I'm flying to Denmark on my own with the girls tomorrow. I decided that I couldn't wait until October for my parents to see their grandchildren, and I would like to show off my little treasures to my family in Denmark. Most airlines won't let only 1 adult fly with 2 babies, so the tickets took forever to find and cost a fortune. Today we went out and bought a carseat, one of the criterias for flying with 2 babies is that I buy a child-ticket so I have 2 seats on the plane, and place one of the babies in a carseat in the second seat.
Though they are little angels most of the time, I am a bit worried about how the whole trip will go. Here's keeping my fingers crossed.....

7 WEEKS - 17 Aug. 2010

Thank god for mothers-in-law!!!! Things were not quite back to normal and I was going crazy! Luckily my mother-in-law is on vacation all August, she has come over almost every day to help me with the girls. Sometimes I go out, sometimes I take a looooong shower and enjoy not having to worry about the girls crying while I do so, sometimes I get things done around the house. It's been great! Never underestimate the importance of grandparents!!

6 WEEKS - 10 Aug. 2010

Things are back to normal in our little home! :)
We bought a laxative tea at the pharmacy, both girls pooped bigtime for a few days and now seem to be back to normal. No more crying, no more stress, no more arguing.
We went to lunch at my mother-in-law's this weekend, the girls had been up most of the night before. In a way this was good, because it meant they just sat on her couch and stared into space while we all had lunch. When we finished they got a bit cranky, my mother-in-law offered to babysit while we took some time off. An offer we didn't need to hear twice!!
Albert and I left as quickly as we could and had a lovely afternoon in the center together. When we came back the girls were sleeping peacefully and had been on their best behaviour all afternoon, my mother-in-law was so happy to have had them.
Things are back to normal, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

5.5 WEEKS - 5 Aug. 2010

Now we know how lucky we've been so far!! The girls cry and cry and cry and cry... Luckily they sleep at night, they just kind of collapse around midnight, wake up at 3 to eat and collapse again until around 7 when Albert gets up. Then they spend the day crying and sleeping a bit. It seems to be belly-problems, we have no idea what to do!!! We can't eat, I'm in such a bad mood from being at home all day with 2 crying girls (when I take them out they decide to scream instead of cry) so when Albert comes home stressed after a hard day at work we do nothing but argue - while trying to cope with 2 crying girls.
Please let this be over soon, we can't take anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 WEEKS - 3 Aug. 2010

We took the girls to a restaurant for the first time this weekend. They did great! We went shopping to buy things for them, when walking home we came by a sushi place and realized we were hungry. The girls had already drunk all the milk we had brought in bottles and were sleeping, so we decided to have sushi for lunch. Just as we had sat down - entering the restaurant with a double stroller was quite a feat in itself - Liva woke up. I ate a bit, she became restless. I ate a bit more, she became more restless. In the end I pulled out my boop in the restaurant and fed her, something I hate doing but I guess certain barriers have to be crossed at times.... She ate, relaxed and was put back in her stroller. All in all, their first time in a restaurant was a huge success!

4.5 WEEKS - 30 July

2 weeks of managing the girls on my own during the day. There's been crying & screaming (all 3 of us!), but more laughs and smiles. The girls are wonderful and I'm starting to learn why they cry or scream, so I can deal with it.
They make me smile about a million times a day - just feeling them, holding them, looking into their beautiful blue eyes makes me smile. When they look back or even smile a little I just melt. I love watching them develop into little people, I love seeing the changes every day. I just love them!

1 MONTH - 29 July

WOW, I can't believe they are already a whole month old! I can't believe it's been a month since I was at the hospital pushing, wondering what I was pushing out. I can't believe these amazing little lives have been in our life for only 1 month!
They can already focus on things for longer periods of time, they move their heads towards objects of interest, they can almost hold their heads, and they love pushing themselves up into a standing position.



4 WEEKS - 27 July 2010

My second day of being completely alone with the girls. It's gone OK so far, we're all 3 still alive. We go out for walks during the day, the girls sleep in the stroller while I try to get back in shape. Breastfeeding both at the same time is virtually impossible and is stressing us all 3 out totally. With nobody here to help me position the girls they just don't get positioned right, they roll off the pillow, get angry and scream. Then I get stressed, and it ends with me just giving them a bottle each instead. No tears, no stress, much easier. I'll breastfeed 1 while the other sleeps. Though they're pretty syncronized when it comes to eating and sleeping, they're not 100% synchronized - I'll take advantage of that next time.

3.5 WEEKS - 23 July 2010

My parents went home this morning. It was difficult to say goodbye, we won't see each other until they come back for a few days in October. My mom cried, she's going to miss her grand-daughters terribly. I didn't want to cry, it would make it even harder for my parents. I will miss them and I'm quite worried about having to manage with the girls on my own. Luckily it's Friday which means Albert's home from work early and here the next 2 days.
I cried in the evening, though. I was on the couch while Albert was in the kitchen. He came back to the livingroom just to find me bawling. Poor man was all worried, but when I told him it was only because I missed having my parents around he was relieved. He held me tight and as always made me laugh - isn't laughing through tears just one of the best feelings in the world??

ALMOST 3.5 WEEKS - 22 July 2010

We're going out to dinner tonight again, once again leaving the girls with my mother-in-law. But this time I'm not worried at all, I know we'll be OK, all 3 of us! :)

3 WEEKS - 20 July 2010

Doctor's appointment today, my mom is coming as well.
Everything is fine, the nurse cleaned Liva's belly button and took out the hardened blob of blood, now it actually looks normal. Next appointment not until September.

ALMOST 3 WEEKS - 18 July 2010

Liva's umbilical cord came off. With a lot of blood... It's Sunday, no doctors are available now, we don't want to go to the ER, that would probably be too exaggerated. Luckily my parents are still here, they help keep us calm. We clean the belly button with alcohol, on Tuesday we have another doctor's appointment, we'll see what they say then.

2.5 WEEKS - 17 July 2010

Albert and I are going out to dinner tonight, just the 2 of us. Approximately 1 year ago Albert lost a bet we made, my prize was a dinner at a nice Thai restaurant in the center. When he came home from work yesterday he found a card and a small present on his side of the bed, as a thank you for being such a patient and understanding husband. I know I haven't been easy, not during the pregnancy and not now - lack of sleep, too much attention on the girls and my parents and not enough on him, etc. He's so caring and wonderful with me, sometimes I feel I don't deserve him! I know how lucky I am, and I wanted him to know that I know. For now, a card and a small present was all I could think of.

The dinner was great. I had no problem saying goodbye to the girls and leaving them with my parents, it's not like it's the first time I'm going out without them... The food was - as always at this place - wonderful, and it was soooooo nice being out with my husband and just being Stine & Albert, not being Liva & Laia's parents!
As if confirming that Albert is the greatest guy in the world, he gave me a present - a beautiful necklace with a diamond which matches my wedding ring. It's the most beautiful necklace I have ever owned, and I feel bad about my pathetic little present for him yesterday! I love him so much, and I really don't deserve him!

Oh, by the way - Laia's umbilical cord has come off. Gross... Her little belly button is perfect. Now we can bathe her, and hopefully Liva's will come off soon as well.

2 WEEKS - 13 July 2010

Another doctor's appointment. By now I'm a pro with the stroller and my mom's coming along, so no worries at all. The girls are weighed and the nurse looks at the umbilical cord. I ask my 10.000 questions, and 30 minutes later we're done. Once again everything was perfect, once again I'm so proud of my little girls!
Barcelona is experiencing a heat-wave and we have been adviced not to take the girls out. I decide to take advantage of this little excursion to go a few blocks further and show them off at work. As luck would have it, the 3 people I really wanted to see were having a meeting, which was of course interrupted the second I walked through the door. For 20 minutes we were showered with compliments - the girls were sleeping and on their best behaviour, looking like 2 little angels. It was wonderful seeing everyone from work again, and it was wonderful leaving without having to work. Time to go home and enjoy another afternoon and evening with my family - my daughters, my husband and my parents.

1.5 weeks - 9 July 2010

Tonight we're going out for dinner. That's my parents, Albert and me - not the girls. We're leaving them with my mother-in-law. It's the first time they'll be without me since they were born - or should I say the first time I'll be without them, coz they probably wont even notice! I have no doubt in my mind that my mother-in-law will take great care of them and they'll be just fine, but I'm soooo worried about leaving them. As we leave her house and I kiss my girls goodbye I have to focus not to cry. Gosh, how pathetic, I don't want to be the kind of mother who can't leave her girls!! But they're only 11 days old, will they be OK without their mother???
Luckily, as soon as I feel Albert's hand in mine and we're out on the street on our way to the restaurant I feel better. We have a wonderful evening and when we pick up the girls a few hours later they are just as beautiful and healthy as when we left them. And once again I'm proud of myself, this time for having parted with my girls for a few hours. So I'm not one of those moms who can't leave her children and have a life without them for a few hours!

1 WEEK - 6 July 2010

Yippee, my parents are coming!!
For the first week Albert was on paternity leave. It has been such a great week, enjoying each other as a family. This morning we had to say goodbye for the first time since the babies have been home, and it was a strange feeling. On top of that, I have to get all 3 of us ready and make it to an appointment with our pediatrician at 10:40. I have to get the babies and the stroller out on the street with no help, I have to walk for 7 blocks on my own with the girls. Oh, what scary thoughts!! And I have to make it home before my parents get here.
Luckily I have practised the whole stroller-thing with Albert, we took the girls on a walk yesterday and surprised his mom, she was thrilled. And I actually manage to get us all 3 safely out on the sidewalk and all the way to the doctor's office. I arrive sweaty but very very proud of myself. And I only become prouder when both the nurse and the doctor are in awe over the girls, telling me they are absolutely adorable. They probably say that about all the babies they see, but I'm convinced they mean it this time!
The girls are checked - ears, eyes, reflexes, weight, height etc - and not only am I told they're doing great, I'm told they're quite advanced for only being 1 week old. My proud mother-heart overflows with love and pride and I can't wait to call Albert and tell him.
As I'm walking home my dad calls, they are already inside our building waiting. Oh joy, it will be so great having them here for 2.5 weeks!!

DAY 3 - 2 July 2010

Today we get to go home!! The pediatrician has been here, the girls are doing great. The gynecologist has been here, I'm recuperating fine. My husband is here, he's called a taxi. We somehow manage to get flowers, bags, babies and ourselves into the taxi. The taxi driver is a really great guy, telling us about his own kids and I think he mentioned something about twins as well - not his kids but maybe his nieces and nephews?? I don't remember... I am so worried about the other cars, since our little treasures are on the back seat in lifts, not at all secured as they should be. When Liva starts crying I pick her up, I'm in the front seat with a 3-day old in my lap, oh please let us be home soon!!
We make it home without problems, get all the flowers, bags, babies and ourselves into our apartment on the 6th floor, and what do you know - the 2 crying little bodies we had gotten used to in the hospital suddenly relax completely. They sleep for 5 hours straight, longer than they have ever slept in one go before. We check on them every 10 minutes (at least) to make sure they're still breathing. When they finally wake up, we show them around their home before I sit down to breastfeed. Since this day they have been the sweetest, easiest babygirls we could ever have wished for!

DAY 1 - 29 June 2010

"There'a a contraction coming up, get ready to push!"
Thank god the machines knew when the contractions came because I couldn't feel a thing. And thank god for that too, since the pain before the epidural was bad enough. And the women screaming in pain in the other birthing rooms would have made me reconsider the whole thing. Not that I hadn't reconsidered a few times... Don't get me wrong, I had wanted this for years! But the pregnancy had been quite a surprise - one time without protection and bingo, double up: twins!! A life-long dream for me, but a huge surprise for both of us... A scary thought at times, and as the date came nearer I started wondering whether I could just keep the girls in my belly. At the same time I was as huge as a house and sooooo fed up with being pregnant and having a belly bigger than a basket ball.
Giving birth is by far the most incredible thing I have ever experienced! The doctors told me when to push, I pushed, and after just a few pushes, shortly after 14 pm on June 29th Liva came to the world. 11 minutes later Laia followed. I didn't get to hold them, they had to be checked and were then put in the arms of their father, which I'm happy about. I have so much contact with the girls every day while he's at work, I'm happy he was the first to hold them. When the doctors were sure everything was OK with all 3 of us, my husband was let into the room and we were given a girl each. Wow, what a feeling! Though one of my main thoughts was "water". After 16 hours in labour with no food or drink I felt completely dehydrated. I had begged the nurses for water, only one nurse felt sorry enough for me to give me about 5 drops, but that had been hours ago. When I asked the doctors for water I was told to wait until we were in the room. Nobody knew when that would be. So I decided to enjoy the precious moment with my husband and 2 daughters. Liva was 48 cm and weighed 2445 gr, Laia was 49 cm and weighed 2855 gr. They were beautiful, eyes open already looking around.
The next 3 days we spent in the hospital, I guess doing what every new family does - learning to breastfeed, getting to know our daughters, not sleeping at night, learning how to change diapers with the umbilical cord in the way and just enjoying holding, touching and smelling our beautiful little daughters.