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.