7 MONTHS - 29 January 2011

Liva and Laia are 7 months today (and my dad is 62). They are absolutely lovely - though both with a terrible cold.
They interact quite a bit by now. They have invented a game which basically consists in taking whatever the other one has in her hands, be it a toy, a pacifier or whatever. We assume it's a game because they never get upset or start crying while "playing". Another thing they do quite often which is really cute is that Liva makes sounds and Laia laughs at them. Liva can make more sounds than Laia, and Laia seems to find Liva's sounds quite funny.
They both love the cats and try to touch them all the time. The cats are great and often let the girls touch them. They don't do anything when the girls pull at their tails or grab their fur so hard they pull out a handful hair. Poor cats!!
Both girls sit really well, and can almost get back into sitting position after falling over. They can both move around by rolling over, Liva can move forward by moving her body like a snail. They still can't crawl, they get up on all fours and then don't really know where to go from there. Laia crawls backwards and then gets really annoyed at not being able to go where she's trying.
They eat really well with a spoon now, are both eager to eat themselves, especially Liva. We let them do whatever they want when we feed them dinner, which normally results in food everywhere. They eat mashed potatoes and carrots for lunch, blended fruit for snack and porridge for dinner - bottles the rest of the day. They still have dinner around 18:00 and sleep around 19:00. They sleep through the night, wake up around 6:30. It's lovely for Albert and me to have the evenings for us.
They no longer grab things with their whole fist but can use their fingers only, especially Laia can get a hold of the tiniest little thing with just her fingers. They use both hands, and move objects from one hand to another. Laia stretches her arms upwards when she wants to be picked up, I've only seen Liva do that once so far.
We go for a walk every day and the girls love it. We go after their morning nap, if for some reason we don't go they get all cranky and restless. If they are cranky in the morning it's enough to just get the stroller ready, that already calms them down. Sometimes I put them in the stroller long before I'm ready to go, then they sit there and wait for up to 15 minuites - but they're happy! :)

I'm still fat - at least compared to my normal weight... I'm totally addicted to chocolate, and though I try hard I just can't control myself... I'm really sad about not being able to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes, and hate myself for stuffing my face with chocolate all day. The other day I even though about taking up smoking again, after about 6 years of being a non-smoker. Luckily I could at least resist that. I'm still hopeful and do believe that one day I will somehow get back to my regular weight.

Albert and I are doing fine - I think pretty much the same as before the girls were born. Some days we argue and hardly feel like talking to each other, some days we are just too busy to do anything, some days we can't get enough of each other, some days we are both so tired that we get silly and everything and anything just makes us laugh. But most importantly, every day we love the girls more and more, and for that reason we love each other a little bit more as well - even when we're arguing and not talking. We need each other, we need the girls, and the girls need us. I don't think one of us could function without the other three, and that's how it should be in a family.

ALMOST 7 MONTHS - 24 January 2011

Last night, after putting Liva and Laia to sleep, I hopped on a bike and rode to a supermarket to buy pizza. On my way home I got eye contact with a mother walking with her children, and suddenly realized that she of course had no idea that I too, am a mother. And suddenly it made me realize that sometimes I don't feel like I'm a mother... I don't know - am I supposed to feel different? Older, more mature, more responsible? I guess I've become a bit more responsible since I wore a helmet rding my bike... I feel proud of being the mother of Liva and Laia, even when they're not with me. I feel people can somehow see that I have these two absolutely wonderful girls at home.
But riding a city bike with my helmet on at 20:30 on a Sunday night through the streets of Barcelona, with a bag with 2 pizzas, a pack of chocolate cookies and a pack of chocolate, knowing that I'm heading home to an evening on the couch with Albert, in our sweatpants with our blankets and the cats, made me feel like I was 19 years old going to my boyfriend's house, not 36 and a responsible mother. What a wonderful feeling that was! How many twin moms can enjoy an evening on the couch with pizza and chocolate in the arms of their husband, knowing their twins will be asleep until about 6 o'clock the next morning?!?!

ALMOST 7 MONTHS - 23 January 2011

Combining working life and being a mother and wife is not as tough as I had anticipated - at least not yet... I manage to get about an hour of work done during the day while Live & Laia sleep or play. Thanks to Heather, our babysitter, I can go to meetings and get other things done without feeling bad about it. And since Liva & Laia are so wonderful and sleep from about 19:00 to about 6:30 every day, I can get work done in the evenings, which is great! Yesterday Albert took them both to his mother's house for almost 4 hours, giving me loads of time to work, and every Saturday afternoon my mother-in-law comes and takes care of them. That is worth gold, and is probably a huge reason as to why Albert and I are still doing so good together! :) As soon as she arrives we leave the house and spend the afternoon together. We go into town, look at shops, buy things, have a drink or go out for dinner. We're always gone long enough for the girls to be asleep by the time we get home. And the best part is that we all love the situation - my mother-in-law is thrilled to be with Liva & Laia for a few hours, they love being with their Iaia for a few hours and Albert and I love being able to leave the house and know that our daughters are happy and in good hands!

Last week I took Liva and Laia to the park and for the first time ever pointed out the animals - ducks, geese, dogs, pigeons, etc, as well as people - kids playing football, bicycles, etc. The LOVED it! They sat in their stroller and observed everything. Every once in a while they'd suddenly see each other and start laughing. Today we all four went to the park, first we stopped at a little café where Albert and I had brunch, then we continued on to the park. Liva & Laia were asleep but woke up while we were in the park. We fed them, then looked at all the interesting things before heading into the center of town to stroll around there for a while. We were gone for more than 4 hours, Liva and Laia were happy and enjoying themselves the entire time. We have really been blessed with sweet, easy, happy girls!!

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ABOUT 6½ MONTHS - 17 January 2011

What a total luxury having a babysitter is!!:) Heather came today for 1½ hours while I was home. I got to organize the house a bit, clean the kitchen and do some laundry without worrying about the girls being OK. I know this might not sound special at all, but when you have a room in your house which has been a mess for months, and has just been getting worse and worse because you can't seem to find time to clean it, and then use the excuse that "it's already so messy anyways" to just drop all your junk there, you just can't imagine what a relief it is to finally be able to organize everything.
It was my mother-in-law's birthday today, she came over for dinner. Unfortunately she finishes work too late to see the girls, but we had a nice evening with her. One of the presents we gave her was a calendar with photos of the girls, she loved it!
Since I've been working all weekend on my translation, which was due this morning, I haven't done any work at all today. And now I'm going to go to bed and read a book - another luxury!! I have 3 books to choose from - another luxury! - I wonder which one it'll be.

ABOUT 6½ MONTHS - 14 January 2011

Do you know those days when you just suddenly realize how lucky you are, and how wonderful life is? Well, I've just had one of those days!
Though I only slept about 4 hours last night because Liva was having stomach cramps, I lay on the couch with her in my arms at 5am, and felt helpless but so lucky to have two such wonderful girls! We both managed to fall asleep, and at 8am Albert came in to wake me up. He had fed Laia and needed to shower and get ready for work. He normally leaves the house at 7:45 to be at work at 8:30, but today he arrived late because he had to help take care of the girls. That made me think how lucky we both are to have such flexible jobs, and how lucky I am to have a husband who takes so much part in the girls and our little family.
Liva clearly felt much better, and the three of us spent the morning playing. After their nap and my shower we went for a short walk in sunny, warm Barcelona. We live very close to the Sagrada Familia but I don't go there often because of all the tourists. However, I decided to go today. The building never ceases to impress me, and I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to live in this incredible city and enjoy the nice weather in mid-January.
Shortly after we came home, Heather came. Her first day yesterday had gone well. I left to go to a meeting a the school where I am employed, and it felt really good to be back and to see everybody. But it felt even better that it was only for an hour and then I got to go back to my girls. How many people work in a place that let you work from home for 9 months after having had babies??
I spent some time with the girls before Albert came home from work at 15:00, then I went to teach his brother English. At first it was quite awkward because we know each other so well, and because we've never spoken English together. But after a while we got into the teacher-student mode, and 1½ hours flew by.
When I came home I was greeted by three hugely smiling faces - my loving, beautiful family! Albert and I bathed the girls and got them all ready for bed together, then I cooked a nice dinner while he cleaned the apartment a bit.
After dinner I had to work on my translation, I have a huge project due on Sunday and am only half way through. Albert came in every 30 minutes or so to ask if I was OK and if I needed something. Though it's annoying having to work in the evenings, at least I'm doing something I enjoy doing, and it pays well.
I have love, jobs that I like, lovely colleagues and the world's best family - also including my parents, brother, his family, in-laws etc. And we're all healthy and happy! What more could anyone ask for?? And what have I done to deserve it all?
Laia & Liva

ABOUT 6½ MONTHS - 11 January 2011

Today is my birthday - 36! My first birthday as a mommy :).
The day has been wonderful so far, white chokolate croissants and coffee for breakfast and then off to a friends house to see little twin girls. These girls are now about 3 months old but were about 2 months premature, so can do more or less what babies of 1 month can do. They were so small and so sweet, but once again I'm so happy we're past that baby stage. Liva and Laia sit really well and can play on their own for longer and longer. They interact more and more, giggle loads when they look at each other.
Liva has started moving around, she can twist and turn her body to roll in any direction she wants. She can put herself on the playmat to play, or roll to the other side of the room to grab something she finds interesting.
Both girls love the cats and want to touch them all the time. But they pull at them, and the cats go running. Liva tries to move herself to where they are, but as soon as she's close the cats move.
Yesterday we hired a babysitter, she'll come approximately 6 hours/week, starting this Thursday. She'll have a set timetable and be here when I have class or meetings at the school where I still oficially work. If I don't have meetings she'll still come, that'll give me a chance to get out a bit and do other things. Or organize the house, or whatever. I'm sooooo looking forward to having a bit of help!
We interviewed quite a few people, and were not really happy with any of them. We had said we wanted someone who speaks Catalan or Danish, since we don't want to confuse the girls with too many languages. An American girl also replied to our add, but at first I told her no. However, after not really liking any of the people we interviewed, and the one we kind of liked couldn't do Thursday evening, which was one of the most important times that we need someone since I teach 2 different classes, we decided to contact the American girl. She's great! She was so comfortable with the girls, and they both loved her straight away. Lately Liva has been quite difficult with strangers, and cries when she's with somebody she doesn't know. But not with Heather, she just smiled at her. That kind of did it for me!
I also think I've managed to finally convince Albert that we get a cleaning lady. So far he's said he'd rather do it himself than pay someone to come and do it. And to be fair, he has been really good, most weekends he's cleaned the whole apartment. But now it's really difficult to find 2 hours to clean, and since he doesn't see the girls much during the week he wants to be with them at the weekend, not clean.
Oh yes, back to it being my birthday... Well, on Tuesdays I teach, so when Albert came home I went to my class. When I came back my mother-in-law was here with some presents, and the sushi take-away Albert had ordered came. So all in all a lovely day! :)

6 MONTHS + 1 WEEK - 6 Jan. 2011

Happy Three Kings to all of you who celebrate it today!!
What a weird day!!!! After all the tension there's been between Albert and I for the past month, all the emotions just took over this morning after him and I had given each other presents, so on top of not sleeping a lot last night and all the stress just being too much, I suddenly started crying this morning. But after a shower I felt much better.
We got to my mother-in-law's around 10:00, and as always my brother-in-law and his family were late - today about 30 minutes. It gave us some quiet time with the girls' grandparents which was nice. There were loads of presents, way too many considering the amount of people we are. My sister-in-law got mad about it and started telling my mother-in-law off. Then my father-in-law joined in, and next thing I know, everybody is arguing. My father-in-law said he would not put up with such behavior, and left... Poor man is 73 years old and lives over an hour away. The rest of us tried to have a nice day, though with tension between my brother-in-law and his wife. I felt soo bad that I forgot all my anger towards Albert for a while..... At one point my brother-in-law made a comment which pissed off his wife, so she took their 1 month old baby girl and left. After 30 minutes or so, she came back. We sat down to have brunch, but by now everybody was in a pretty bad mood. As soon as we were done eating, my brother-in-law and his family left. My 4-year old nephew wanted to stay with his grandmother, and I really don't blame him! Albert and I stayed as well, the girls napped and ate, and in the afternoon we went for a walk around Barcelona. It was nice!
All evening I've been steaming vegetables and making puré for the next few days. I've read it can be frozen, so I have tomorrow's puré in the fridge and the freezer full of tupperware boxes. I'm looking forward to seeing how the girls will react. I'm hoping that a heavier lunch will make them sleep a bit more in the afternoon, and then stay awake a bit longer - eat later and not wake up at 5:00 for their bottle.
This morning I managed to get them to sleep until 6:30 before they ate, but I was up twice before 6:30, and the girls didn't go back to sleep after eating. The ideal would be that they sleep about 1 hour longer!
We ordered high chairs for them over the internet while we were in Denmark. But since we weren't home we had to have them delivered in January, and since the company we ordered them from are shut the first week of January we don't have them yet. I hope they'll come next week, I really miss having high chairs after having had some for the month we were in Denmark.

6 MONTHS + 1 WEEK - 5 Jan. 2011

I took the girls to their 6-month check-up with the pediatrician today. As always, they're doing great - Laia is once again taller (longer) than Liva, she's 69 cm and weighs 7300 gr. Liva is 68 cm and weighs 7600 gr. The doctor said they are quite tall for their age, but we had already assumed so since they wear size 9-12 months clothes. She also said that they are beautiful, that they have a really nice eye-color (it IS really nice, it's like a blue/grey undefined cool color), and that they are quite advanced. Liva can sit really well without support, Laia can shake her head "no" and wave, things 6-months old normally can't do.
We can start with vegetable mash now, that'll be fun!
Tomorrow is Three Kings, a big day here in Catalonia - and the rest of Spain, I guess. Well, probably most catholic countries.... Anyways, we're all going to my mother-in-law's for presents and brunch. It'll be our first 3 Kings with the girls! :)

6 MONTHS + ALMOST 1 WEEK - 3 January 2011

Happy new year!! Liva and Laia celebrated their first new year's eve in Denmark - sleeping :). We went to my brother's house, and all just managed to stay awake until midnight. We drove home shortly after midnight, watching all the forework - it was beautiful. The following day my brother drove us to the airport, we flew home without problems, and were picked up in Barcelona by Albert's brother. It's sooooo good to be home! All day yesterday the sun was shining, the heating was off, doors and windows were open. After a month in cold and snow that was much needed!
I had hoped Albert and I would be back to normal being back home, since Denmark had clearly been dreadful for Albert - it was too cold, he was bored, he felt unwanted at my parent's house, my family is weird, we only did things I wanted to do... Now that we're back home and he has seen his family I figured he'd be OK again, but I was wrong - he still complains, now it's his family who's weird and I can't seem to do anything right lately.
Today the normal life starts again, maybe getting back to work, out of the house and away from us will change him back to normal - though it's a sad thought that he has to be away from us to be happy.... We'll see how things go the next few days.
It's amazing to see how much the girls have changed the month we've been gone, I'm only just noticing it now that we're back with their "old" things - they don't feel like playing with the toys they have here, they don't like sitting in their bouncing chairs, they can't fit the majority of their clothes.... They seem happy to be home as well and are very smily today - yesterday was a tough day, but they must have been tired from the trip on Saturday, and it must be strange for them to suddenly be back here after a month in a different place - they had probably gotten all used to living there now, with my parents around most of the time. By now Liva sits for about 1 minute before falling over, and Laia has started putting herself on all fours, eager to crawl. She doesn't know how, yet, and lifts both arms at once or shoots forward with her little bum, but she's getting there.
I start working today as well, and since I work from home I have to be very disciplined. That'll be completely different to anything I've ever done before!

6 MONTHS - 29 December 2010

HAPPY ½-YEAR BIRTHDAY LIVA AND LAIA! We're still in Denmark and it's freezing cold and snowing, so we don't do very much, which is why there haven't been a lot of posts this month. My parents have looked after the girls twice while Albert and I went to Copenhagen, Albert went to Copenhagen one day on his own, and to Elsinore as well. Though we're on holiday I still get up with the girls every morning, so far Albert has only gotten up twice so I could sleep in... I had hoped it would be a little different since we're both on holiday, but I guess I was too optimistic.
We had a wonderful christmas eve at my brother's house - lovely food and everybody was happy. We did a Catalan tradition of the caga tio, and the Danish tradition of walking around the tree while singing carols. Liva & Laia were asleep but my brother's kids were up and enjoyed the evening. We all got really nice present, the girls got some great toys, clothes, Hello Kitty bedsheets and some books.
The girls are enjoying being here, they love the fact that there are so many people around them all the time. They both have 2 bottom front teeth and it looks really sweet. Liva is getting really good at sitting, sits on her own without any support for a few seconds before falling over, and can sit longer and longer every day. Soon she'll be sitting all on her own. Laia doesn't want to sit, she wants to stand and walk. She can't stand without help, and doesn't understand the concept of holding on to furniture yet. So we have to support her. If we put her standing on the floor she tries walking, but of course her little muscles and everything is not at all ready for walking yet.
We can only leave them alone if they're playing on the floor or securely fastened in a bouncing chair - Liva fell off the couch some days ago... Luckily there's a rug just below the couch so she didn't hurt herself, but cried because she got a shock, poor girl!
Liva still yells, now only when she's happy. Though it can get really annoying it is also very cute.... They both babble loads, and love looking at each other - it makes them laugh. Sometimes if one is crying and there's nothing we can do to make her happy, it helps putting her close to her sister.
They are long, thin girls and already wear size 9-12 months. They eat mashed fruit every day, and solids for dinner, but still only the powder we mix with their milk. When we're back in Barcelona they have a doctor's appointment for their 6 month check-up, I hope they'll be allowed to eat more varied food then.
They are starting to learn to drink from cups and really enjoy that. Their sleeping and eating pattern hasn't changed much, the have dinner around 18:00, sleep around 19:00, wake up between 5:00 and 6:00 for a bottle. If they wake up close to 5:00 they go back to sleep until 7:00/7:30, if they wake up closer to 6:00 they often don't go back to sleep again. During the day they're awake 2-2½ hours and then sleep for about 45 minutes, in the afternoon they sometimes last longer than 2½ hours.
They are fun, more and more every day, and I still enjoy every minute I spend with them, and of course they are just beautiful! :)