8 MONTHS - 28 February 2011

Liva and Laia are 8 months old today - well, the 29th, but since there is no 29th this month it's today.
They are extremely happy girls, and love playing. They're starting to play more and more with each other, looking at each other and laughing or grabbing and giving things. Laia started crawling about 3 days ago, Liva drags herself along the floor with her arms - Albert says she looks like a zombie. They love being able to go where they want. Liva still makes loads of sounds and sometimes words such as "Laia", "papa" or "Tata" (Tatanka, the name of our black cat) come out - the only one she seems conscious of is Tatanka. Laia doesn't talk quite as much, last Friday she started clicking her tongue which she has been doing ever since.
Liva holds her own bottle when eating, once I tried to get Laia to do it and after a while she grabbed her bottle with one hand and looked at me with an expression that said "I can do this no problem!". Just to prove her point she took the bottle out of her mouth, swung it around in the air for a bit, and put it back in her mouth - all still with just one hand - and kept looking at me with that same expression. After the show she let go of the bottle and her look said "I can do it, but if you want me to eat, you hold it because I can't be bothered!". So we still hold Laia's bottle when she eats.... They can eat cookies on their own, but not much else. I tried with banana, they almost choked because they put the whole piece into their mouth. Smaller pieces they "chew" on for a bit, then spit them out.
Laia can get from crawling or lying position into a sitting position, and both can pull themselves onto their knees when sitting in their beds and pulling themselves up by the bars. Laia can almost get into standing position when holding on to furniture.
Liva can clap her hands, and loves doing it. They both wave, but never when we say hello or goodbye.
They love being bathed and splash water everywhere. I am really looking forward to the summer and taking them to the beach!
They love being tickled, they love when we lie on the floor with them, they love playing peeka-boo, they love dancing and singing, and they love being cuddled and kissed. They hate having their faces wiped or their noses touched. Liva doesn't particularly enjoy being dressed - undressed is no problem, dressed is a huge theater. They don't like when we leave them alone in a room, but after a while they seem to forget they're alone and start playing. They are very open, loving girls, they smile at strangers - though Liva is a bit more reserved - and give kisses and cuddles to the people they know - Heather, Iaia and above all mom, dad and each other! 
Liva & Laia 8 months

ALMOST 8 MONTHS - 26 February 2011

I love Saturdays!! The four of us spent the whole morning in the botanic garden of Barcelona, the weather was great, Liva and Laia were wonderful, Albert and I had a lovely time together as a family. We came home at lunchtime, fed the girls, played with them for an hour, then put them down for their nap. While they were sleeping my mother-in-law came over. We talked until the girls woke up, then she fed them their fruit. We all hung out and played until Albert and I left. We had a great afternoon in the center shopping followed by a wonderful sushi dinner. When we got home and said goodbye to Iaia we looked at the photos from the botanic garden once again, now we're off to bed. Tomorrow is another busy day, I have a meeting in the morning reg. a possible Scandinavian school here in Barcelona, my father-in-law is coming over for lunch and my mother-in-law will join us for the coffee in the afternoon. I love weekends, the only problem is that they're too short!

ALMOST 8 MONTHS - 25 February 2011

What a great day! This morning we went to a playground - well, that was a bit of a hassle at first, the girls were cranky after their morning nap and the elevator still wasn't working. Another fun adventure of carrying stroller, babies, bag, etc down 6-7 floors, at least nobody came out of the elevator and told me it was working just when I had carried everything down this time!
At the playground we met up with other moms from all over the world, there was an American mom who has a daughter only 1 day older than Liva and Laia, and an Italian mom who has twin girls 1 week younger than Liva and Laia. It was great meeting moms with children the same age and sharing stories, experiences, thoughts, worries, etc. If the weather is nice we'll meet up next Friday again.
We were gone most of the morning, 30 minutes after we came home Heather and Jenn came, the girls were thrilled (and so was I). They were here for an hour, Albert came home shortly after they left.
When Albert got home I had to go to a marketing course at the school where I'm employed. A 3-hour course where the whole management team was present. It felt sooooo good doing something else for an afternoon, using different parts of my brain again - or just using my brain again! It's nice to know I can still do other things, and concentrate and focus when I have to.
By the time I came home, Albert had bathed the girls and they were both sound asleep. My little angel girls + my wonderful angel husband = my incredible angel family!!

7 MONTHS + 3 WEEKS - 24 February 2011

I've just come home from teaching, and the elevator wasn't working - again! Yesterday they were working on it all day, Heather was here in the morning and wanted to take the girls out, she got them all dressed up and ready, but when she went for the elevator, nothing happened. They told her it would be fixed within a few minutes, but she knew that in Spain this can mean hours. So she took the girls back inside, undressed them and gave up on going out. I had a doctor's appointment with the girls at 16:30, since they hadn't been out all day I wanted to leave earlier and take them for a stroll. Around 15:00 I asked the guys working on the elevator how long it would take, they told me about 10 minutes. 15 minutes later I asked again, same answer. This happend 3-4 times, the guys were clearly getting sick of me. Eventually I couldn't wait any longer or I'd be late for the doctor's. I got the girls ready and put them in their beds, the safest place I could think of. Then I carried the stroller 6 floor down (7 if you're American and consider the ground floor the first floor), ran back upstairs, grabbed the girls and the stroller bag, managed to lock the door with both girls in my arms and the bag over my shoulder, and got us all 3 safely down the stairs. I passed the guys who were fixing the elevator everytime I went up or down, they didn't say anything, didn't offer to help, nothing. As I was putting the girls in the stroller, I heard the elevator come down. Out stepped one of the guys who had been fixing it, looked at me and said "Now it works". I almost killed him!! At least it worked when we came home again.

7 MONTHS + 3 WEEKS - 23 February 2011

Liva and Laia are still sick, they had gotten better, but now especially Laia is coughing again, waking up at night and has a runny nose. I took them to the pediatrician, she gave us some different medicine for them. Poor girls, they are so fed up with coughing and being sick, they hate having their noses wiped and they cry at night when they can't breathe properly because their little noses are blocked. I feel completely helpless and useless because I can't do anything to make them feel better! Instead I kiss and cuddle them as much as I can. Luckily the pediatrician said not to worry, they seem fine and it's just a regular cold which is difficult to get rid of with this weather.
While I was at the doctor's office waiting, I saw loads of little babies, most of them there for their first check-up. It reminded me of the first time I was there, Liva and Laia were about 1 week old, I remember seeing the older babies and being a bit envious of the mothers that they had already been through the first six months. I always knew I wouldn't enjoy the first three months, and I always looked forward to Liva and Laia reaching six months. Many people told me to enjoy the time they were so small because it would pass quickly and then I'd regret not having dwelled in it more. Well, I don't regret anything! I don't miss one second of the first six months, and I thoroughly enjoy every second of Liva and Laia now! I love seeing new things they can do every day, I love playing with them and learning what they like and what they don't like, what makes them laugh, what awakens their interest, what catches their attention, etc. I love seeing how they react when I feed them new things, when we go for a walk and discover new things, when they suddenly realize they can do something they couldn't do before and get really happy - new sounds and new movements. They are so much fun now, more and more every day. I don't miss the first six months, I don't know if I will miss these months, but just in case, I make sure I enjoy it as much as possible and spend as much time with them as I possibly can. I love waking up in the morning to the sound of their babbeling in their room, every evening before going to sleep and every morning when I wake up I look forward to a new day with them. They are such wonderful little human beings and make me more happy than I had ever imagined possible.

7½ MONTHS - 19 February 2011

Today is Albert and my 6th knowing-each-other anniversary - and Albert had forgotten..... It's no big deal, it's not a day we really celebrate after having a real (wedding)anniversary to celebrate, it was just funny seeing his face when I gave him a small present this morning and he had no clue why. He invited me out for lunch, and in the afternoon bought a nice flower arrangement.
Albert and I met through a language exchange program - you sign up to practice/learn a language (I wanted to learn Spanish, he wanted to practice his English), and then you meet up with someone who's a native or near-native speaker of the language you want to learn/practice. These meetings normally last about an hour, 30 minutes for each language. That was also what Albert and I had expected six years ago. We met up in the center at 18:00, I had a party to go to later in the evening, Albert was meeting a friend. We went to a bar and sat outside on the terrace talking. After about an hour we paid our drinks and got ready to leave - but neither really wanted to leave. Albert asked if I had ever been to another bar which was close by, and though I had, I said no. We went there for a while, and when we were ready to leave, Albert mentioned another bar. I had never been there, so off we went. This continued all evening, until it was about 22:00 - I was late for my party and still needed to shower and change, Albert was late meeting his friend, had already spoken to him a few times on the phone. We walked part of the way home together, and when we had to say goodbye I was desperately hoping he'd kiss me - and at the same time not, because it would somehow also seem desperate. He gave absolutely no impression of wanting to kiss me, and I left, feeling a little bit disappointed... We had talked about meeting up in town if my party continued at a bar or a disco - which it did. Two or three hours after saying goodbye we met up again. We spent the whole night together in bars and discos, said goodbye around 6:00 Sunday morning - still no kiss or any hint from Albert that he'd like to. This time I was REALLY disappointed! I didn't hear from him all day, so in the afternoon I sent him an sms, to which he replied and asked if I wanted to meet up for a coffee. We walked around town for a bit after the coffee, until he (finally!) invited me to his place - the excuse was that I should come see a wall he had painted orange that same day... I gladly came along, and there he finally kissed me! It turns out that he had wanted to all along as well, but didn't want to seem desperate. He did everything just right, and I think it was quite clear right from the beginning for both of us that there was more than just language exchange going on between us - you could almost talk of love at first sight! But if somebody had said that six years later we'd have two cats, be married, own an apartment, be the parents of twin girls, and still be madly in love with each other, we would have assumed they were crazy! I couldn't be happier, though, it's everything I've always dreamed of!!

Tonight we had friends over for dinner, they're our age but have no kids - it's not something we talk about with them, the few times it has been brought up, it seems like he would like kids but she absolutely wouldn't. But we have no idea. Since they have no kids, we didn't spend much time talking about Laia and Liva - actually, they were hardly even mentioned the whole evening. As I've mentioned loads of times, they are so easy and we're so lucky - we put them to bed at 19:00 and had it not been for the playmats, bouncing chairs and highchairs in the livingroom, you would never have known that we have kids; we didn't hear them all night, and Albert and I didn't talk about them. It's actually quite nice to know that we can still be a "normal" couple and talk about "normal" couple things. We assume our friends were having a good time, because they didn't leave until after 01:00.

7½ MONTHS - 17 February 2011

Liva & Laia do not have whooping cough!! We got the results from the hospital today, the tests were negative! And the girls are much better, so all is OK! We have to take them to a check-up with the pedeatrician and hear what she says, I'm sooooo relieved.
The past 2-3 days Liva and Laia have been extremely happy, it's been even more wonderful being with them. I love how they "crawl" to me when I sit down on the floor with them to cuddle. They want to be picked up, nuzzle my neck, giggle at the kisses and hugs I give them, and laugh when I whisper in their little ears how wonderful they are and how much I love them.
And I've found out why I'm still fat!! I read in a medical paper (I was waiting for a student who was in a meeting, not the kind of literature I normally read) that lack of sleep or periods of extreme tiredness increase the risks of becoming fat. That explains it all - I just need sleep, then I'll be thin again! :)

7½ MONTHS - 15 February 2011

I called the hospital yesterday, but they still didn't have the results of the tests, they said to call back in 2-3 days. I spoke to the doctor who attended the girls when we were there, she asked how they were doing. When I said they were better, she said it's very likely that the tests will be positive, since it seems the medication is working and that particular medication only works on whooping cough. So we'll see. But Liva & Laia are better, that's what's most important!!
This morning I skipped breakfast and weighed myself just before showering - not a good idea. The scale just seems frozen on that same number! When I was pregnant I was so sure that losing weight wouldn't be a problem at all; I hardly moved the last few months of my pregnancy, so just the fact that I am moving again should be enough to lose weight. I'm carrying twins around, walking loads around the house since they're getting so big now I struggle with carrying both, I have to do two trips every time. And we go for a walk every day for at least an hour, usually around two or more, where I push the stroller which, with Liva & Laia inside, must weigh at least 20 Kg. I know it has wheels, but I'm still pushing it. And Barcelona isn't a flat city. But no, even after more than 7 months I still can't fit my clothes. Summer (well, spring) is coming up, and I'm already dreaming about spending days at the beach with the girls. But when I imagine myself in a bikini I panic - I probably can't even fit my bikini. Oh, the horror of having to buy a new one....
I've even gotten over my chocolate addiction and eat much less (yes, I still eat some!!), I snack on yoghurts - low fat - when I'm hungry, I eat fruit. I don't exercise, I just don't see when I would be able to. I'd love to start jogging again, but I'm just not motivated in the evenings when the girls are in bed. And NO WAY am I getting up at 5 in the morning to go for a jog before getting the girls ready for the day. I can hardly find the time to work, it's impossible to fit in exercising as well. So I guess I'll just have to stay fat for a while still. One day I will be back to normal, that day is just further away than I originally thought.

7 MONTHS + 2 WEEKS - 13 February 2011

Wow, I feel like a whole new person!! Yesterday morning Albert got up with the girls, and told me to sleep. I slept until 11 o'clock!! We had a lovely day together, the four of us went for a walk and in the afternoon my mother-in-law came for a few hours while Albert and I went out. We went to the center and did things I wanted to do, bought some clothes for me. When we came home we put the girls to bed, Albert made dinner, and we chilled on the couch watching a program on TV I wanted to watch.
This morning Albert got up again, but I told him it was his turn to sleep, I'd take over. He insisted I go back to bed - though it didn't take much insisting! I slept until 9:30! When I got up Liva & Laia were asleep, meaning we could relax for a bit. When they woke up I took them for a walk for about 2 hours, while Albert cleaned the apartment - and so much more. The kitchen shines, he cleaned the oven, the cooker, everything. After we had bathed the girls and put them to sleep, he again made dinner. I started preparing the girls' lunch for the week - I always cook for a whole week and freeze the food (for tips and ideas how to make life as a (twin)parent easier, click here), Albert kept coming into the kitchen to help. I hope this lasts, this weekend has been wonderful, for the first time in over a year I feel I have slept (I didn't sleep the last few months of the pregnancy either, but that's a whole different story! And Albert was absolutely wonderful throughout the entire pregnancy, I guess one day I'll explain about that time in my life).
On top of all this, the girls are feeling better. They don't cough as much anymore, they haven't had any of the strong attacks for the past two nights, and they have been all happy and smiling again today for the first time in weeks. Poor babies, they must really have felt terrible!! It's nice to see them happy again! And they've started eating again as well - Laia has gotten so thin, poor little thing!
All in all things seem to be improving, in all aspects! :)

7 MONTHS + 2 WEEKS - 11 February 2011

Laia and Liva have been getting medicin for three days now, and already seem a bit better. They still get cough attacks during the night that are so bad they can hardly breathe, and sometimes so bad they end up throwing up. I haven't slept properly in days, when I'm not up holding one of the girls through a cough attack, I'm in bed fretting! Going to bed early is impossible, every night around 22:00 I'm on my way to bed and remember things I need to do - hang up laundry, clean the kitchen, feed the cats, prepare the girls' bottles for the night, put away groceries that have been in the way for 6 days, which Albert was supposed to put away but didn't, etc, etc, etc. By the time I'm in bed it's close to midnight. Yesterday I vacuumed the house, another thing Albert's supposed to do but hasn't done.
This morning I was feeding the girls when Albert came into their room to kiss me goodmorning. When he asked me how I was doing, I started crying. I can't keep this up anymore! I am sooo tired, I can't be taking care of the girls 24/7, as well as the cats, the house, the shopping and everything else. Albert felt really bad and promised to help out more. I don't need him to help out more, I need him to do the chores we agreed are his. He has said various time during the day I don't need to worry, he'll do more around the house. I really do think he felt horrible this morning, we'll see how it goes the next couple of weeks.

7 MONTHS + 1½ WEEKS - 9 February 2011

Okay, so going to the hospital didn't give us better news - they also suspect it might be whooping cough... They did some tests to which we'll have the results next week. The girls are now in treatment for whooping cough - if that is what they have, they have to be treated straight away, if it isn't, the medication won't hurt them. We were also shown how to clean their little noses, so they're not so full of snot, making it easier for the girls to breathe. Oh, I hope they'll be OK again soon, I'm really worried about them!!

7 MONTHS + 1½ WEEKS - 8 February 2011

Good news and bad news... I'll start with the good news. Laia sat up on her own today. But I have NO idea how she did it. I had left her on the floor to play - Liva was sleeping - while I went to the kitchen for a while. I am 100% sure she was lying down, I am always afraid of leaving them on their own sitting up because they still very often fall over. If they land outside the blankets they bang their heads, which can be quite painful on our parquet floor. When I came back 5 minutes later she was sitting up! Big girl!! :)
The bad news is that they're more sick then we originally thought. The bronchitis medicine the pediatrician gave us last week hasn't helped at all. Today I took them back to the pediatrician for a check-up and they've gotten worse instead of better. Liva is full of slime in her little lungs, sometimes she coughs so hard she can barely breathe. Laia has less slime but her cough is worse. The pediatrician told us to go to the hospital with both of them first thing tomorrow morning. She basically wants to rule out whooping cough, though it's pretty unlikely that's what they have - they have all their shots and it's very rare that it happens in Europe to babies with their shots. Also, they don't have all the symptoms. But better safe than sorry! And hopefully at the hospital they'll be able to find out what it is, and give us medicine. Poor, poor little girls!!

7 MONTHS + ALMOST 1 WEEK - 4 February 2011

Oh the joys of having twins.... They're both sick - a mild bronchitis. When one's sick, two are sick, that's just how it works. And when they're sick, they're hard work! They cry more (poor things!!!), they sleep more often during the day, but for much less time than normal - since they normally don't sleep for more than 30-45 minutes, it means they now sleep for 15-20 minutes. And worst of all, they don't sleep well at night. A few nights ago I was up every hour, last night every hour and a half or so. Albert doesn't hear them at night, and feels really bad about me getting up all the time. He makes up for it in the mornings - though he has to go to work he lets me sleep while he takes care of the girls - feeds them, gives them their medicine and changes them. The night I had been up every hour he even managed to get them to sleep again - we all three slept until 9 am, it was wonderful!
Heather (our babysitter) is wonderful as well, a bundle of joy! The girls smile as soon as they see her, and it's wonderful for me to get some time off while knowing the girls are in good hands.

Laia & Liva - 7 months and almost 1 week

7 MONTHS + ALMOST 1 WEEK - 3 February 2011

For the first time since the girls were born, I've managed not to get baby-puke, baby-food or any other baby-stuff on my clothes today! I can actually put it back in the wardrobe and wear it another time, without washing it first. That doesn't happen often! And since I'm too fat to wear most of my clothes, it's a big deal!

7 MONTHS + a few days - 2 February 2011

The girls are so sick, poor things! They have a really bad cold and both cough all the time. It's clear that it hurts them when they cough. They also sleep loads more than normally during the day - which then means they can't fall asleep in the evening when we put them to bed.
Sunday evening I went to the pharmacy to get some cough medication, but there is hardly anything you can give 7 month old babies. They gave me a cough syrup which we can give them, but it just doesn't seem to be helping. We have an appointment with their pediatrician this afternoon, I hope she can give us something to relieve the coughing and the pain.

7 MONTHS + a few days - 1 February 2011

Idea for new invention:
Diapers that go further up the back!!
How is it possible for shit to travel upwards? Why doesn't it just come straight out and down, into the diaper instead of all over their back? I've noticed that it happens mainly when they poop while sitting, I guess there just isn't space for it to go down so it travels up instead. Fun.......