9 MONTHS - 29 March 2011

Liva and Laia are 9 months old today, and how they have developed over the past month is just incredible!
They both stand up using any furniture or anything else they can grab hold of - our legs, their stroller, each other... Laia walks by holding onto furniture, and loves walking holding our fingers. She sometimes lets go of whatever she's holding onto and practices her balance - she can manage a few seconds before falling over.
They can both pick anything up from anywhere, the smaller the better. Liva puts everything in her mouth, Laia just picks it up and drops it again.
One of their favorite past-times is taking toys out of boxes, Liva loves putting the toys in the box and then taking them out again. I can leave them on their own to entertain themselves or each other, but I do have to keep an eye on them the whole time - they are extremely quick, and know exactly where they shouldn't be. Like in the kitchen eating catfood.
They love playgrounds, especially the swings and slides. They love being where there are other children, sometimes it's enough to just place them where they can see other kids and they'll laugh out loud watching them play. They can also stay entertained for hours watching pigeons, parrots or dogs on our walks.
They understand "no", but react very differently. Laia looks at us with a cheeky smile and continues doing whatever she is doing. Liva gets all upset about having done something wrong, and looks at us with a sad face for the longest time.
Laia doesn't seem to be afraid of anything, Liva is afraid of strangers and loud noises.
Though Liva is the more careful and scared one of the two, she seems to be the one hurting herself all the time - she choked on catfood a few days ago, she fell off their rocking horse and hurt herself, she's constantly falling over when she tries to stand up, and she seems to have a new blue mark daily. Laia is just much more agile, and better at keeping her balance to avoid falling. Laia crawls really well and really quickly, I've seen Liva crawl a few times, but she still prefers dragging herself zombie-style along the floor.
They love our walks, and many times they don't sleep when we're out, they're too busy looking around.
They eat really well, and eat most things we serve them. It's great that they can eat banana, cookies and bread on their own, that keeps them busy in their stroller when they start getting cranky. They both hold their bottle when drinking milk, and are getting really good at drinking water from sippy-cups.
Their sleeping patterns are changing a bit, they still wake up around 6:00/6:30, sleep again around 8:00 for 30-45 minutes so I can shower. If they sleep again in the morning it's normally only for 20-30 minutes, instead they nap for 1½ hours in the afternoon, which is great! They normally sleep at the same time, which is the most important for me!
Though Liva was a lot of work as an infant, and we thought she'd be the more difficult one as they got bigger, she's such an easy baby. She can sit on the floor and play with her toys for the longest time, she "crawls" around and picks up different toys, plays with one for a while, then takes another, chases the cats a bit, plays with toys again, and is generally happy. If I (or Albert, my mother-in-law, Heather, whoever) sit on the floor, she loves playing giving and taking toys. Laia, on the other hand, is hard work. She wants to be with someone all the time! If we sit on the floor to play with them, she crawls all over us, pulling our hair, jewellery, glasses, whatever she can pull. If we sit on the couch, she's on her feet pulling at our legs, trying to climb up. She can't, so whines. If I try to do some work at the computer, she's next to the chair, on her feet, whining, wanting to sit with me - so she can pull my hair & jewellery. We ignore her most of the time, she has to learn to be on  her own or with her sister.
Laia teases Liva all the time; when Liva has a toy, Laia takes it from her. When Liva tries to stand up somewhere but struggles, Laia will climb over right next to her, stand up, and look down at her. Liva cries easily and Laia knows exactly what she has to do to make Liva cry. Since Liva is much more developed with her speach, we believe that as they get older, Liva will know how to get Laia back verbally - it will be interesting to see how they'll get along when they are bigger.
They are tall girls, wear size 12-18 months clothes, and Liva is very heavy! On Moday I have a doctor's appointment with them for their 9-month check-up, I'm looking forward to that.

I'm doing well, keeping busy with combining work and being a mother. It's all working out great still, but I'm starting to realize just how exhausting being a twin mom is! Liva and Laia crate a lot of work, besides the obvious of feeding, dressing and changing 2 babies, there are also bottles, laundry and dishes to clean, food to cook for 2 lunches, fruit to prepare for 2 snacks, and 2 little lives to divide my love evenly between. As much as I love seeing them smile, hearing them laugh, watching them take in the world on our walks, I also love when Heather or my mother-in-law come and take Liva and Laia off my hands for a few hours. When they sleep and I think I can get a break for a few minutes to watch the news or have a coffee without them pulling at my cup or needing me to hold them becuase they've hurt themselves, they wake up the moment I've switched on the TV or finished preparing the coffee. Only in the afternoon when they take their long nap do I get some time off, and in the evenings after 19:00 (after cooking, cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry and preparing bottles and lunch for the following day).
I've lost 2 kgs, not a lot, I know, but a start and a great motivation. It's wonderful knowing that the scale isn't frozen on that same horrible number that I was seeing for months! Another 4 kgs to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight, 6½ kgs to be back at my wedding-day weight, but I'm not sure that will happen again... The goal is the pre-pregnancy weight.

Albert and I are doing great! Just as good if not better than before Liva and Laia entered our lives. I love my evenings with him, and we have loads of fun during the day at the weekends when we can all 4 be together. Being a little family is working out great, and is even better than I had ever imagined it would be!

8½ MONTHS - 24 March 2011

While Liva, Laia and I were out for our walk, I noticed a lady walking her dog and pushing a stroller. It made me remember the pang of envy I used to feel up until about 18 months ago everytime I saw a lady, a stroller and a dog - I wanted to be that lady. Then it hit me; I am more than that lady now! I'm not only pushing a stroller, I'm pushing a twin stroller! I'm not walking a dog, but we have two wonderful cats at home, and though I'm so much more a dog-person than a cat-person, I would never exchange Tatanka and Tomahawk for a dog.
I also noticed that the lady today didn't look happy. She looked tired. Exhausted. And then I thought, maybe all these ladies I've been envying for all these years aren't even happy. Maybe their situation at home isn't a happy one, maybe they don't like their job, maybe they don't have a job and are worried all the time about finances, maybe the kid doesn't sleep, maybe the kid screams a lot, maybe it's a real hassle having to take out the dog god knows how many times a day. I have always been happy with my life, with my situation. Of course I have done things I sometimes wished I hadn't done, but whenever I've found myself in an unhappy situation, I have done something about it, and have changed it. Now I have everything I've always dreamed of! My mother told me shortly after Liva and Laia were born that she remembers when I was five or six years old, I said I wanted a nice, good-looking husband and twins. All I know is that as far back as I can remember, that's what I have wanted. And that's what I have. Not only do I have a nice, good-looking husband, I have a great, romantic, sweet, funny, generous, good-looking husband! Not only do I have twins, I have sweet, easy, fun, absolutely beautiful twin girls! I've said it before, and I'm happy to say it again: I love my life!

8½ MONTHS - 23 March 2011

I've just been sick for three days, it's been dreadful! On Wednesday when I came home from work, Albert said he wasn't feeling good, and went to lay down. I hardly saw him again until Thursday morning. He said everything hurt and that he felt unbelievably tired. He felt better and better as Thursday went by, and by the evening he was fine. I woke up Sunday morning and felt the same way - even my eyes hurt. Albert took Liva & Laia out with his German friends for a couple of hours, I was in bed most of the day. Monday Heather came for three hours, the original plan was that I would go get a haircut, the first since July last year, but the plans changed. She took Liva & Laia out, I stayed at home and relaxed and prepared lunch for the girls for the coming week. I felt OK, Liva and Laia were so considerate that they napped almost 2 hours in the afternoon. But then I woke up yesterday morning and felt terrible. Once again everything hurt, including my belly. Albert called in sick and stayed home, we called Heather and asked her to come for three hours to help out. I spent the entire day in bed, sleeping most of the time. Today I feel better, though still not great - and I'm unbelievably tired though I've done nothing but sleep for three days. Liva and Laia haven't been very considerate today, and refused to nap this afternoon. Which means they were really tired by 17:00, by then it's too late to put them down. Liva started crying and cried for 1½ hours - while they had dinner, while I bathed them and after I had put them to bed. Eventually at 18:30 she collapsed into deep sleep. Laia did great for not having slept at all, she hardly cried and even laughed a few times. Now I've just worked a few hours, eaten the dinner Albert prepared, and though it's only 22:00 I'm off to bed - read a bit and then sleep. I hope to feel better again soon, I don't have much patience with Liva and Laia when I'm tired and half sick, and then I feel really guilty for not being patient with them. It's not their fault, poor girls!! And on top of it all, Liva is sick as well - this explains the pooping all the way up her back for the past few days. She has a stomch flu, and is now on medication and a no-dairy diet. She has to eat soy milk instead if their regular milk, and a rice-pudding something for dinner instead of their regular puddings. She also has to have medicine for the next 6 days. Poor little thing!

8½ MONTHS - 19 March 2011

I'm feeling unwelcome in my own home! As I've explained before, my mother-in-law comes every Saturday afternoon to be with Liva & Laia. It gives Albert and me a break, and we normally take advantage of the time to go out together, clothes-shopping, out to dinner, for a drink or whatever. We make sure we're not back until after the girls are asleep, it's a blessing - most of the time!
First of all, my mother-in-law always brings something when she comes. A few weeks ago she had spent 30-40€ on seafood, so we had "a little something" for dinner. Sometimes she brings fruit and vegetables, but so much that we can't eat it all and end up throwing some away because it's gone bad. Or she'll bring unnecessary little things for Liva and Laia, or whatever. Though I heard Albert say to her three times on the phone this morning not to bring anything, she came with a box of chocolates. I don't know whether she feels like a guest who has to come with a present for the hosts when she comes over, but it's how she makes me feel she feels, which sucks! She's Liva and Laia's grandma and my husband's mom, I don't understand why she feels she has to bring us something. And she has very little money, it would be different if she were super rich, but she isn't.
Today she arrived at 16:30, we had only been home for an hour or so and were all exhausted. We've been out all day with our German friends, walking along the beach and enjoying the nice weather. Liva had poop all the way up her back again, but this time we were prepared, we had extra clothes along, and changed her while we were out. When Iaia came over, we were all relaxing. After about 2 minutes she asks when we're leaving. I wasn't planning on leaving today, I had figured we could all be here, Albert and I could relax while she's with the girls. Both Albert and I avoid answering her. We're all in the living room, and Liva and Laia are partly with her, partly with me. Every time one of the girls looks at me or comes to me she says something along the lines of "always with mommy - are you a mommy's girls at the moment?". And every 5 minutes at least she tells us we should go. I have no idea where we'd go, we have no intentions of going out to dinner tonight, we just want to be home and relax. So right now I'm hiding away in our bedroom, I'm clearly not wanted in the living room where my girls are.

8½ MONTHS - 18 March 2011

The toy cow I ordered for Liva over the internet has finally arrived - and it's nothing like what I had expected... But it doesn't really matter, because Liva seems to be accepting the rabbit I bought a while back, which we're calling Senyorita Ninus. Liva still looks for Senyor Zebra on the shelves, and it still breaks my heart every time she does. Especially when she looks up at me and starts saying things I don't understand; I'm convinced she's trying to ask me where her zebra is and why she can't have it back. Close to tears, I explain that he's gone and he won't be coming back. Then I give her Senyorita Ninus. Liva accepts it, yesterday she grabbed it herself and played with it for a while. Ninus will never be Senyor Zebra, but hopefully Liva will learn to love this new friend as much as she loved him!

8½ MONTHS - 17 March 2011

I'M A HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE MOTHER!!!!! We went out to meet Albert's friend from Germany and his wife and daughter. It was a wonderful day, the first really sunny and warm day this year. We left home around 11 and spent most of the day outside, first at the park where the girls got to swing, Laia got to walk around a bit holding my hands, and everybody was enjoying themselves. We went to a cafĂ© to have something to eat and drink, it was still too early for the girls' solids, so they had banana, cookies, bread and milk. When it was actually time for their solids, it was quite inconvenient - there was a 5-year old who was had to think of as well, so we skipped Liva and Laia's solids. By about 15:00 they started getting cranky, we took them out of the stroller a bit, carried them instead of pushing them, we knew they were tired but there was so much going on they wouldn't sleep. Eventually by 15:30 I said I was going to take them home, I felt bad keeping them out like that. We agreed to all just call it a day, and around 16:00 Albert, Liva, Laia and I arrived at home. When I took Laia out of the stroller, she was all wet. Suddenly I remembered, they hadn't been changed since 10:30 this morning. We quickly got all their clothes off, I did Laia while Albert did Liva. Besides being wet on her pants and having her diaper full, Laia was OK. But Liva, poor, poor Liva! She was full of poop all the way up to her neck! Albert can't handle poop, so when he realized, I took over and he took care of Laia. I carried Liva in nothing but her diaper - and poop all over - into the bathroom, put her in the shower while I got the tub ready for her. She sat there, small, cold, chubby, in her diaper, covered in poop, shivering. I will never forget that image. Poor little baby!!! She was better after her bath, but I've learned my lesson - I will never forget to change my girls ever again!

8 MONTHS + 2 WEEKS - 15 March 2011

My parents have just been here for four days, and it's been wonderful! They left this morning, it's always difficult to say goodbye, especially when we don't know when we'll see each other again. It's not really difficult for me to say goodbye, we haven't lived in the same country since I moved away from home at 18. But I feel sad for the girls, having their grandparents here 24 hours a day, then suddenly they're not here anymore. The girls were taking their morning nap when my parents left, when they woke up I brought them into the living room. As we were going there, I explained that Mormor & Morfar had left, though I was pretty sure they had no idea what I was saying. I brought Liva in first, she looked towards the couch all ready to smile when we entered the living room. When she realized it was empty, she looked up at me, back to the couch, and back to me. I explained again that Mormor & Morfar had gone home, but that we'll see them again in a couple of months. I put her on the floor to play and went to get Laia. I explained the situation to her as well, but when we entered the living room she looked at the couch, quickly turned her head towards the dining table, back to the couch, then up at me. It's been a really grey, rainy day today, and impossible to leave the house with Liva & Laia, making them even more cranky - on top of having had three adults around them for the past four days, they were stuck in the apartment with only mommy...
At one point I had had enough and decided to take them out, rain or not. I got them all ready, shoes on, jackets on, stroller wrapped in plastic, food ready to take along, umbrellas, etc. We get to the elevator, I push the button and..... nothing..... I am SO fed up with this elevator!!! Girls back inside, shoes off, jackets off, back on the living room floor. Girls whining, mom going crazy. Lunch. Laia cranky, would hardly eat. Bed. Both girls go straight to sleep. I watch TV for a while, then decide to take a nap as well - my parents being here means going to bed quite late, but still waking up with the girls, who decided to wake up at 6 at the latest every morning the past 4 mornings. It was 14:55 when I lay down for my nap, at 15:05 I woke up because Liva was awake, crying. Great! After a few minutes I went to get her, by then Laia was also awake, crying. Luckily I could hear the elevator was working again; shoes back on, jackets back on, plastic on stroller, food ready, and off we went. We went to the mall, there's a play area which Liva and Laia love. We spent about 20 minutes there, they had a yoghurt, we walked around a bit, and about 1½ hours later we were back home, Liva and Laia in a great mood!! Shortly after I prepared dinner, we were fooling around while eating and Liva laughed more than I have ever seen her laugh. Laia laughed loads as well, but Liva was completely out of it. It was wonderful, a great end to a pretty difficult day! Albert came home while I was getting them ready for bed, he took over and I went to teach. I've just done some work for my meeting tomorrow, now it's off to bed. Albert has vacation the rest of the week, one of his friends from Germany is coming tomorrow with his wife and daughter, we're looking forward to that. They'll be staying at a hotel, but hopefully we'll see them loads. Heather is coming tomorrow morning, I had forgotten Albert wasn't working this week, and we want to give her hours to make sure we don't lose her! I'm sure Liva and Laia will be happy to see her, and they'll have fun with Albert's friend's daughter, they like being around other children.

8 MONTHS + 1 WEEK - 10 March 2011

Liva misses her Senyor Zebra!! Liva and Laia have two shelves in their room with all their stuffed animals on, they have never shown any interest in these shelves. After Senyor Zebra has gone missing, Liva looks at the shelves every time we're in their room. There's a cow which from far resembles Senyor Zebra a bit, every time she sees it she gets all excited, stretches out her arms and says "Tatatata". When we let her grab the cow she gets all disappointed, drops him and continues looking on the shelves. But there's no Senyor Zebra... We've tried with almost every stuffed animal they have, she won't accept any of them. Both Albert and I have spent hours searching the internet to see if we could find a new Senyor Zebra, Albert even contacted the company who made him. They have no more, and have stopped producing them. I checked E-bay, amazon etc, no luck. Yesterday I ordered a new teddy at amazon, a pink and white striped cow. It has long, thin arms and legs like the zebra, we assume it is the shape more than anything else which makes Liva & Laia love these animals so dearly.  We'll see what happens when it arrives. Today I came past a baby store and saw a rabbit in the window, also with long, thin arms and legs. In the shop they let Liva hold it, it's the first stuffed animal she hasn't thrown away with all her force when we give it to her, so I bought it. She touched it a bit like she used to touch Senyor Zebra, I think she might accept it in a few days. When we came home and I wanted to put them in their beds for their nap, she looked all over the shelves again. Still no Senyor Zebra... The rabbit (or the cow we ordered) will never be Senyor Zebra, but hopefully it will compensate a bit.

8 MONTHS + 1 WEEK - 7 March 2011

LOL - Albert and I took Liva & Laia out for a loooong walk today. When it was time for their nap, we lay them down as always. Normally we put Senyor zebra and Senyor mono close to their face for them to cuddle with. Without Senyor zebra, we had taken a cow along for Liva - same material as Senyor zebra and more or less the same colors. But of course a completely different shape and just not what she's used to. We had put Liva comfortably in the stroller, and put the cow where Senyor zebra normally goes. As we were putting down Laia, the cow was descreetly dropped over the side of the stroller onto the sidewalk. We put him back where he should be, and started walking. Next thing we see is the poor cow come flying full power out of the stroller - this time Liva didn't just drop it, she actually threw it with all her force. Poor little cow! And poor Liva... We put the cow back, and eventually she accepted it. But it will never be Senyor zebra. How sad!!

8 MONTHS + 1 WEEK - 6 March 2011

It seems that Liva and Laia can do new things every day. Laia can now stand up using any furniture in the house, and she crawls really well. Liva is starting to get up on all fours, ready to crawl instead of dragging herself along the floor like a zombie. Yesterday we all went out for a walk, Liva and Laia look at everything, smile at people, wave, and we think Laia said "hola".
This morning my mother-in-law took the girls for a walk on her own for the first time. She was really excited about it, and it was great for Albert and me to get a few hours on our own. When she came back she was thrilled, the girls had been wonderful, she had loved how everybody looked at them and made comments, she had been really proud and told everyone that she is the Iaia. BUT - when I was in Denmark with Liva and Laia in August, when they were only about 7 weeks old, my aunt gave them each a stuffed animal; a zebra for Liva and a monkey for Laia. They love these teddies, sleep with them, cuddle them and play with them when we go for a walk. Of course I had put the teddies in the stroller this morning, as always when going out for a walk. When it was time for Liva and Laia's nap there was no zebra.... We looked everywhere, he's gone. It makes both Albert and me really sad, the girls have had these teddies since they were only a few weeks old and love them. We have loads of pictures where the teddies are in the background somewhere, and they were very special to us, and to the girls as well. Now Liva's beloved Senyor Zebra is gone :(. Albert is furious with his mother for not being more careful. I'm just really sad, it's such a shame. I imagine the girls being bigger and seeing pictures of themselves as babies with Senyor Zebra and Senyor Mono, it will be fun for Laia to see herself with Senyor Mono, Liva will ask what happened to her Senyor Zebra. What do we tell her??

Liva (2 months) & Senyor Zebra
Laia (2½ months) & Senyor Mono

8 MONTHS - 1 March 2011

When we moved into our apartment a little over a year ago, we spent a long time looking for a shower curtain. We didn't actually want a curtain, we wanted a glass wall but couldn't afford it. We couldn't find a curtain we both liked, probably because we didn't want one in the first place, and eventually ended up buying one with a cow on - I love cows and Albert had reached a point where he just didn't care anymore. The curtain is white on the bottom half, and see through on the top half. I never quite understood why it was see through, but this morning I was very happy about it! Liva and Laia have had one of those rare days where they won't sleep at the same time - meaning I can't shower in the morning when they're asleep. Since they're all mobile now, I can't just put them somewhere and shower quickly, too scary! So I put them in their bouncing chairs in the bathroom. Thanks to the curtain being see through they could see me and thought it was loads of fun, and I could see them. Not the ideal situation for showering, but the ideal solution when they won't sleep at the same time. And at the moment we're happy we have a curtain instead of a glass wall, it would have been so much harder to bathe Liva and Laia had there been a wall in our tiny bathroom!

When I change the girls, I normally put one in one of their beds while I change the other. Today I was wiping Liva's little bum when suddenly Laia started laughing and laughing from her bed behind me. When I turned around she was standing up, holding onto the side of the bed and clearly thought it was the best thing that ever happened to her during her 8 months of life. While she was standing there, Tatanka walked past her bed. Laia tried to touch him, and leaned (way too!!) far over the side, I was worried she'd fall out. But I had Liva naked and squirming on the changing table, and for a few seconds had no idea what to do! Luckily Laia decided Tatanka wasn't all that interesting and decided to jump up and down instead. When Albert came home, we lowered the bottoms of the beds so the girls can stand up as they please without me worrying they'll fall out.

So much has happened with the girls in just one week, suddenly they're mobile and come into the kitchen when I'm preparing their food, they can stand up in their bed, they have learned new games, they communicate with each other and laugh loads. Liva's favorite game is when we catch her and tickle her. When we come in after she wakes up, she tries to hide in her blankets (yes in, not under, she hasn't quite grasped that yet) and squeels in delight because she knows we'll tickle her. We have a big duck handpuppet which we play with, the duck will look at the girls for a while and then suddenly attack and tickle one of them. Liva goes nuts every time we play, screams in delight and laughs and laughs. Laia doesn't quite see the fun in those kind of games, she prefers being thrown into the air, swung around by her arms, or anything which involves standing and jumping and using her legs. And I'll play any of those games with them all day long just to hear them laugh! My reward is kisses and cuddles from the girls, I can't think of anything I'd rather want!