10 MONTHS - 29 April 2011

Liva and Laia are 10 months old today, WOW!!! I know I have been neglecting this blog, but I have been extremely busy with loads of translations. Deadline for one is tomorrow, I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing again now.
Back to Liva and Laia! They are such wonderful girls!! Always happy, playing and talking loads. Laia can stand on her own, but doesn't know it herself yet. We often hold her and then let go, she'll stand for a couple of seconds until she realizes nobody is holding her, then she sits down. They both cruise all over the place, walking around holding on to furniture. We bought a walker for them a while ago, but they're not interested in that.
They eat almost everything, and love tasting new food. We're giving them more and more finger foods and they're doing great eating on their own.
They both talk loads, real words come out of their mouth but we still don't think they actually know what they're saying. They often seem to understand each other, though.
The cats are being chased all over the house, so now we're teaching Liva and Laia to not touch them when they're sleeping in their beds or on their pillows. It seems to be working, and the poor cats get a break.
Liva still looks for her Senyor Zebra on the shelves, and still grabs the cows that are up there. She has accepted her bunny, but I think she would happily exchange it for Senyor Zebra if we could get him back.
I've started  meeting other moms with babies, and Liva and Laia love interacting with other kids. It's great watching them learn how to play. We meet one little boy who is one week older than them once or twice a week, and go to a mommy meeting once a week. Last time there were five babies all born in June last year, a 6-month old, some even smaller and one older, loads of fun!
Going for a walk is getting more and more difficult, Liva and Laia still love being out and seeing new things - they especially love seeing animals and want to touch all the dogs, the bigger the better. But their stroller is quite narrow, we bought the most narrow one we could find so it would fit in our elevator and through our front door. Up until now the stroller has been perfect, but it's getting too small for Liva and Laia, they're not comfortable anymore. We've bought a second hand much bigger stroller, but in Denmark. I'm going up for ten days on my own with the girls in June, we'll get the stroller then and bring it down.
I'm starting to get extremely annoyed with people's comments, especially the question whether they are a boy and a girl or 2 boys. It's not that I care what strangers think about my girls, it's the fact that people talk or comment without even looking or thinking. Even when I dress the girls in pink, open the pink parasols on their stroller, and they sit on their pink blankets people ask - Laia hardly has any hair, and since Liva does they must be boy and girl. Or since they don't have their ears pierced, they must be 2 boys. If one wears a pink dress and the other wears a blue dress, it's boy and girl because they're wearing pink and blue. I HATE people who don't think, I've hated that all my life! One of the worst things for me as a teacher are students who don't think and just answer with "I don't know". I don't expect everybody to know everything, and it's fine if you don't know, that's why I'm there teaching you. But PLEASE think a bit before you tell me you don't know. PLEASE look at my daughters and their clothes or the colors around them before you tell me they are beautiful little boys. Or, best solution of all, please just leave me alone and let me enjoy my walk with my daughters, without making me feel like some kind of attraction!

Work's keeping me very busy, lately there's been too much and I have been extremely stressed. But it's calming down a bit now, and I have learned not to take on so much, I can't deal with it. Except for that I'm doing great. I haven't lost any more weight, but have more or less given up worrying about it.
Albert and me are doing great as well, we love our Saturday afternoons off and are extremely thankful to my mother-in-law for coming every Saturday.

9½ MONTHS - 17 April 2011

I haven't really been very motivated to write, since I couldn't find anything to write about. Though the weather is brilliant, I am soooooooooooooooo bored on my daily walks, and Liva and Laia seem to be as well. So last week I decided to do something about it. As I've mentioned before, I know of an international mothers group here, and have met up with them at a playground a few Fridays. The problem is that the kids are mostly 18-24 months, so they're all very different to Liva and Laia - and the playground is not very baby-friendly, it's more for toddlers.
Last week I sent out a mail to all the people in the group, saying I needed to meet mothers with children Liva and Laia's age. I need other mothers to talk to, I need people who can give me help and advice when I don't know what I'm doing, and I would love for Liva and Laia to interact with babies their own age. We have a playdate with Heather, our babysitter, and a little girl she babysits every Wednesday, but it's only 20-30 minutes, and the girl is 5 or 6 years old.
On Monday I'm meeting a mother of a 9-month old boy for a playdate and a coffee, and on Tuesday I'm going to another international mom's group with babies 5-11 months old. I've also agreed with an American mom who I've met once before who has a daughter 1 day older than Liva and Laia, that we meet up 1 day every week and let the girls play while we chat. I'm really looking forward to all this, it will break the routine for all 3 of us.
More moms replied to my mail, I'm sure that after Easter I'll be meeting up with mothers much more. That will be great! And who knows, maybe I'll even make a couple of friends for myself.

9 MONTHS + 2 week - 12 April 2011

The days all seem to blend together lately, I know what day it is depending on what I have to do - Mondays nothing or meeting, Tuesdays teach in the evening, Wednesdays nothing or meetings, Thursdays teach in the evening, Fridays teach in the afternoon and possible meetings, Albert home early, Saturdays Albert home, mother-in-law here to give us a break in the afternoon, Sundays sleep in. I used to get up 6 of 7 mornings a week with Liva and Laia, but last week I told Albert that wasn't fair - I also work, I have deadlines, classes to teach and prepare, meetings, etc, I don't have time during the day because Liva and Laia require 100% attention at the moment and hardly sleep, and I also have to do stuff around the house. So this morning Albert got up when Liva and Laia woke up, first time shortly after 5:00, then again around 6:00. At 7:30 he came in and gently woke me up, the girls were changed and happier than they have been for days, and there was a huge, hot cup of coffee prepared for me. It was a wonderful morning! :) The agreement is that Albert will get up Tuesdays and Thursdays and wake me up when he has to get ready for work. I still get to sleep in as long as I want Sunday mornings. Oh, it will be lovely!

9 MONTHS + 1 week - 7 April 2011

I'm wearing pre-pregnancy pants!! They're a bit tight, and I think they were a bit big before the pregnancy, but I tried them on a few months ago and couldn't wear them. I'm wearing them now, and they look fine! A few more kilos and I guess I can wear all my clothes from before the pregnancy. Well, it's about time, it's been 9 months. I remember when Liva and Laia were 3 months old, I was complaining about my body and a friend of mine said: "It takes 9 months for your body to make a baby, so give your body 9 months to get back to normal". At that time I thought "6 months, plenty of time". I was in for a surprise, it's not as easy as it sounds.

The weather in Barcelona is lovely at the moment, sunny and not too hot. Liva and Laia are clearly ejoying it too. While on our walk today, they suddenly spontaniously started cuddeling in their stroller:
The disadvantage is that they don't sleep much. They won't sleep while we're out, there's just too much going on. For a few weeks they slept for almost 2 hours in the afternoon, they are now back to sleeping only about 1 hour. And they've started waking up earlier in the morning, around 6, sometimes even 5:30. So now they sleep from 19:00 to 6:00, again from 8:00 to 9:00 (which is important, this gives me time to shower and get ready for the day), and then from 15:00 to 16:00. Doesn't give me a lot of time to do other things during the day. But they are healthy and happy, that's all that matters! :)

9 MONTHS - 4 April 2011

I took Liva and Laia for their nine-month check-up this afternoon and the nurse was absolutely amazed by them. She says they are very advanced and intelligent; the way Laia can stand and almost walk is impressive, how Liva "talks" is unbelievable, the way they take in their surroundings and how much they understand is unusual for babies their age, and they are as tall as 12-18 month olds. The nurse even went as far as to say that they will be models when they are older, they'll have the body and the looks for it! :) And then she said about five times that they are so sweet she could just eat them, she wants to cuddle them and never let go. I know exactly how she feels, I'm lucky enough to cuddle them every day!
Liva weighs a little over 9 kgs and is 74.5cm tall, Laia weighs about 8.5 kgs and is 74cm tall. We have to start giving them fish, and they can have cheese and real yoghurt - so far we've been giving them special baby yoghurts.
I am so proud of my little girls, I think I walked out of that doctor's office beaming brighter than any christmas tree ever! When we came home and I took them out of the stroller I gave them an extra long cuddle and tons of kisses - I can't get enough of them, and it seems other people can't either. Luckily Liva and Laia seem to love it when I cuddle and kiss them, so I will continue doing it ALL the time.

9 MONTHS - 3 April 2011

I spent the whole day without my family today for the first time since Liva & Laia were born! While we were in Denmark in December there were days where Albert and I went out together for the whole day while my parents took care of the girls, and I think we might have done it once or twice here in Barcelona as well, but I haven't been all on my own the entire day for the past nine months. And though I might sound like a horrible mom (again), I really enjoyed it! I thought I would miss them all terribly, especially Liva and Laia, but I was fine. The school where I work had organized a day out for all the staff - admin, teachers, managers, everyone. They had hired a bus to take us about 1 hour north of Barcelona to the middle of nowhere for the typical Catalan tradition of calçots. I LOVE calçots, and since I haven't been at the school much the past year or so, I figured this was a good opportunity to catch up with everybody. We were about 30-35 people, the youngest were around 3 years old, the oldest in their 40s. The weather was decent, the wine was OK, the place was nice, the food was wonderful and the atmosphere was fantastic!
The school is now talking about making it an annual event, I will definitely go again in the future, though then I will bring the girls and Albert if he wants to come. I saw Liva and Laia briefly before putting them to bed, I'm looking forward to spending time with them tomorrow afternoon - I'm going to be out all morning, Heather will take care of them. Gosh, am I really a bad mother???