ONE YEAR OLD!!! - 29 June 2011

Today is a big day! No, today is a HUGE day!! I have been looking forward to this day basically since Liva and Laia were born - happy birthday to the best girls in the world!!
Things are so much easier now. We have loads of fun, Liva and Laia understand so many things - like playing peeka-boo, with us or with each other, us chasing them, passing things to each other, being tickled, making funny faces, etc etc.
To celebrate their birthday, I've baked a berry cheesecake which we had for breakfast all 4 of us together. We bought a toy for them which is a tunnel connected to a tent on each end, that was put up ready for them in the livingroom, they love it.
They didn't want to nap today, so I took them to the beach quite early. Laia loved it, played in the sand, loved the water, walked around and just basically had a good time. Liva hated it, cried all the time. So after about 30 minutes we left, I felt bad for the people around us... I took them for a stroll along the beach, they both fell asleep. We met up with my German friend and her 2 girls, had lunch all together, then Liva, Laia and I took the bus home. When we arrived at home, there was a huge present from my parents, a little car for them to sit on and push themselves forward with their legs, they love that toy, too. There's a handle at the back, so one can push while the other sits, it's great.

They had a long nap in the afternoon, then my mom called over skype - Liva and Laia get the whole concept now, and love talking on skype. Liva explains loads of stories, it's very cute.

Laia now walks more than she crawls, Liva takes a few steps as well. They both prefer standing to sitting. They love playing, and have started to learn how to play with each other. They love food, starting today they've started eating on their own with spoons - I hope that lasts, another things that will make life easier for me! They hardly have bottles anymore, most of their liquids come from sippy-cups.
They climb on all our furniture, and even know how to get back down again without getting hurt.

They have developed loads this year, and I am so proud of them. They are happy, intelligent, beautiful girls who charm everyone around them. They laugh and smile at people when we're outside, they love waving and there's nothing better than looking at animals - time for the zoo soon! :)
I can spend hours watching them play and observe, I love them more than I had ever dreamed possible!

ALMOST ONE YEAR!! - 27 June 2011

Today I realized for the first time how much Liva and Laia already understand. It started after they woke up from their afternoon nap. While they were sleeping our neighbor rang our doorbell, our black cat Tatanka was out in the stairway, all scared and huddled up in a corner, poor thing! He must have "escaped" when we got back from our morning walk, being busy with Liva and Laia, the stroller, bags etc, I never pay much attention to anything else. Tatanka came running inside when I called him, then collapsed on the floor and slept - he was only out there for about 1½ hours, but it must have been a dreadful 1½ hours for him. When Liva and Laia woke up, I brought them into the livingroom and explained what had happened. Tatanka was sleeping in a corner of the livingroom, I'm aware that Liva and Laia didn't understadn everything I told them, but they got the point - they both crawled off my lap and went over to give Tatanka some loving. Liva is really good, she's gentle and careful, Tatanka loves being touched by her! Laia is a bit wilder and doesn't quite understand the difference between stroking and hitting.... She'll learn.
On our afternoon walk I decided to try some more. I told the girls things like "look at the big dog over there", "look at the birds eating", "wow, look, it's a butterfly", etc. I was behind them, and used no gestures (they wouldn't have seen them anyways), they both looked around until they saw the dog / birds / butterfly, then started pointing and making their talking noises. They clearly understood!
When we got home, Liva was extremely tired and whining. Laia had a pacifier, I couldn't see any other pacifier around and didn't feel like looking for one. Since Laia was in a great mood, I told her to give Liva the pacifier. She looked at me, took it out her of her mouth, then put it back in. I told her Liva was sad and needed a pacifier, she looked at me, took it out of her mouth and - what do you know! - gave it to Liva. I was surprised, impressed and proud all at the same time! My big girls (who are almost 1 year old)!!

ALMOST ONE YEAR!! - 26 June 2011

Here's a sweet twin story! In our livingroom we have two boxes with toys for Liva and Laia, one white with all the toys they play with every day, and one red tugged away behind our dining table with toys we've hidden. Every 2-3 weeks we take some toys from the red box and exchange them with toys from the white box, that way Liva and Laia always have "new" interesting toys. The red box isn't really hidden, it's just in a corner where they don't come often. The other day they were playing with a ball and it rolled over to the red box. Liva started tugging at the lid, so I grabbed her and put her by the white box. Laia was still in the opposite corner, with the ball. I called her a few times, but she just sat there and looked at me, holding her ball. Liva was watching the scene very intensely, after I had called Laia over a few times and she hadn't come, Liva crawled over there. She sat down in front of Laia and "said" something. They both giggled, then crawled at full speed to the white box and started pulling out all their toys, laughing while doing it. Though I understood nothing, I am now absolutely certain that Liva and Laia communicate verbally. They understand each other, the noises they make, make sense to them!

ALMOST ONE YEAR!! - 24 June 2011

Time just flew, a wonderful vacation in Denmark came to an end and we're all back in Barcelona. Albert missed his family so much that he pretty spontaniuosly decided to come up. He arrived Thursday afternoon and went home Sunday morning. Before he arrived, my mom took Liva, Laia and me to see cows (my favorite animal) and then to an amazing café by a lake. There were ducks and ducklings, frogs, dogs, birds, etc. Liva and Laia loved it there, so did I!
Albert was happy to see all four of us came to pick him up, Liva and Laia were thrilled to see their daddy, I was overjoyed having my husband with me in Denmark. We spent loads of time together as a family the few days he was there; walked around Hornbæk, went to Elsinore, looked at houses for sale near my parent's house, simply just enjoyed being together.
Sunday was my mom's birthday, she had prepared a huge lunch for my dad's family who all live in Copenhagen. It was a nice day, and great to see everyone again. Monday I packed during the day, in the afternoon after my mom got home from work we went to Rungsted. My dad's cousin has a shop there, she gave us some really nice clothes for Liva and Laia - I'm saving it for their first birthday! :) We had a coffee, then went back home.
Tuesday I got up a 5:00, my mom got up shortly after, around 5:45 I woke up the girls and off we went to the airport. Saying goodbye was difficult, as always my mom had teary eyes. The flight home was fine, Liva and Laia only slept for 40 minutes, so it seemed like a very long trip. Luckily we had 3 seats where they could climb around without me needing to worry too much about disturbing other people. We arrived home at lunch time, the girls were so tired I gave them a bottle and put them straight down for their nap. When Albert got home we had less than 30 minutes togehter before I had to leave to go teach. That sucked! I got home after 21:00 and was so tired that I went to bed shortly after.
Wednesday Heather came, Liva and Laia were happy to see her again, and I was happy to get a break... In the afternoon we met up with their friend Luca and his mom Susan, it was nice seeing them again! Thursday morning I had more meetings, Heather came back again. Since it was mid-summer which is a huge party here, Albert finished work early. We went out for a stroll in the afternoon, then just relaxed after putting Liva and Laia to sleep.
Today is a public holiday, I met up with my German friend Linda and her 2 girls, that was nice. We went to a playground, then to a café. We had actually agreed to meet in her area of town, I had everything ready, had packed lunch, diapers, drinks, extra snacks and everything. Leaving the house with the new stroller is not easy since it doesn't fit in the elevator, and not even through the front door. So I've taught Liva and Laia to crawl in and out of the elevator on their own, I carry the stroller collapsed all the way out on the sidewalk, open it there and put the girls in. We got down to the station lobby, the wide doors for strollers weren't working. I had to call for help over some machine, then wait 10 minutes for somebody to come let me through. When we were finally on the other side, I went for the elevator to get down to the tracks - the stroller didn't fit in the elevator...... So I called Linda, she was nice enough to come to our side of town. Good thing we didn't manage to sell our old stroller, that way I can still get around by metro if necessary. Liva and Laia both love the new stroller by now.
This afternoon my mother-in-law came, she was so happy to see the girls, and kept telling them over and over how much she loves them. Albert and I went out for a drink, walked around town for a while, then went for dinner. Now it's time to go to bed! My mother-in-law is coming back tomorrow afternoon, in the morning we're going to Luca's birthday celebration - Liva and Laia's first friend's birthday party!

11 MONTHS & 2 WEEKs - 12 June 2011

We've been in Denmark for four days now, and it's absolutely wonderful!
The trip here was problem free. At Barcelona airport Albert was allowed to go with me through security check - there was an airport-police officer there just to watch him the whole time, who told us he also was a twin-dad, so he knew exactly how difficult it is. Inside the airport Liva and Laia crawled around, ate and looked at all the people and things there. We boarded the plane, and the half hour after boarding before take-off was tough for Laia. She was in the car-seat, it was hot, we couldn't really move, they were both really tired, and she cried loads. Two minutes after take-off she fell asleep, fifteen minutes later Liva was asleep. They slept for 1½ hours, had some snacks and just needed to be entertained the last 30 minutes, just like I had hoped! My dad picked us up at the airport, it was so nice seeing my parents and being in Denmark again.
Friday I took the girls out for a walk in their stroller, we went into Hornbæk, played at the playground, did some shopping, and went back home again. In the afternoon my brother and his family came over and stayed all evening - Liva and Laia didn't sleep until almost 21:00! We called Albert over Skype so he could be part of it all, at least for a while.
Yesterday the weather was absolutely brilliant, in the afternoon Liva and Laia played in a paddle-pool for the first time.
They loved it - until Liva pooped....
This morning my mom got up with the girls so I could sleep in a bit, that was wonderful! We played in the garden, in the afternoon my mom and I walked to the playground again, my dad met us there with the bicycle. After playing we all had ice-cream, then walked home again. Liva doesn't seem to like the new stroller very much, screams every time we put her in it. I hope it's just a matter of her having to get used to it...
I also saw an ad for a job here in Denmark, so I've spent hours writing an application. I told Albert on Skype, he liked the idea :)

11 MONTHS & 1 WEEK - 8 June 2011

Tomorrow is a big day! First of all, we will know whether the girls get into daycare or not. I'm trying to be optimistic, but am - completely contrary to how I normally am - more realistic. With the numbers 24 to 152, it's difficult to be anything else.
Secondly, I'm flying to Denmark with Liva and Laia for 12 days. On my own..... I did it last year as well, when Liva and Laia were 7 weeks old. That was different, they slept most of the time. Now they are awake most of the time, active and want to be entertained. All the time... What will I do for 3 hours on a plane? I'm not worried about the time at the airport, I can let them crawl around and feed them. We take off around the time they normally nap, I hope they will sleep for the first hour of the flight. Then I'll feed them, I can probably keep them busy with food for about 30 minutes. But then what? At least an hour! I have packed toys and books, and hope there will be people around who will think Liva and Laia are so cute they want to play with them. There might even be other kids, Laia isn't contagious anymore, maybe she can be entertained for a while.
I'm looking forward to the trip and at the same time dreading it! The good thing is the girls love to eat, I will make sandwiches, a new thing and a huge hit with the girls! So far they've only had Philadelphia sandwiches, tomorrow I will also make banana ones, I'm sure they'll love that. I'm also convinced they'll love the waiting time at the airport, they'll find crawling around in the huge waiting area hillarious! Actually, I'm only worried about the last hour on the plane, I get restless so it would only be natural for them to get restless, too. But they are such girls, I'm sure we'll have a lovely trip.
My dad will pick us up in Copenhagen, I'm really looking forward to seeing my family and friends again, especially my parents, brother and his family.

11 MONTHS & 1 WEEK - 7 June 2011

It just never ends!! Laia woke up with red spots all over her belly yesterday. I was convinced it was chicken pox, and called the doctor straight away. I had a hectic day - meetings in the morning, class at mid-day - so the appointment was at 16:00. Heather came at 10:00, by then the spots had spread to arms and legs as well. Heather pointed out that chicken-pox-spot normally stay around the belly area, I have no clue but figured it must be chicked pox, what else could it be?
Turns out it wasn't. It's a virus caused by the fever her little body has been fighting for almost 2 weeks now, her immune system is so worn down that it actually created this virus. It's just as contagious as chicken pox, so we were warned that Liva will probably get very high fever followed by the same kind of spots soon. Since Liva has fought every other illness so far, I choose to believe that her immune system is strong enough to fight this one as well!
Poor Laia is covered in spots from top to toe - even the soles of her feet and palms of her hands are covered. The doctor said they don't itch, but they still bother her. She's doing great, though! She's such a trooper, is still happy, laughing and playing most of the day. It should be gone in 3-5 days, I hope it ends soon, I feel so bad for my little girl, there's constantly something wrong with her.
She's getting really good at walking, now she stands up on her own from sitting position. And Liva is starting to take a few steps on her own - she still gets so proud every time, it's such a joy watching her!

Little Laia covered in spots

11 MONTHS & 1 WEEK - 4 June 2011

Laia is doing somewhat better, she still has on-and-off fever and is on penicilin, but she's eating and active again. I am sure she's going to be a gymnast when she grows up, no doubt about it! She loves climbing onto things, into things, over things, she loves being up-side-down, being swung in her arms or legs - preferably up-side-down - she basically loves anything that involves body movement. She can now get up from a sitting position and walk a couple of meters on her own.
Liva is not quite a agile.... She tries, she still walks around all over the house with her little walker, and loves it - until she hits a wall or some furniture and can't get any further. She takes about 1 step on her own when we practice walking with her, and gets so proud you'd think she had just managed a marathon. She desperately tries to climb onto the same things as her sister, but doesn't quite manage. She can get onto most of our chairs by now, Laia can also get onto our bed and the couch (when she has something to pull herself up with, the couch is quite high), and Laia climbs into the stroller on her own.
The most important thing, though, is that they are incredibly happy! They laugh when they walk - with or without help - they laugh when they climb on things, regardless of whether they actually get up or not, and they laugh when we play with them. Even when they fall off furniture, strollers or just their own feet, it takes very little to get them to stop crying and be happy again. I think they know they are adored, they feel safe, and they know that when they fall and hurt themselves someone will come rushing to pick them up and hold them. And I deeply believe that these are the most important feelings in life - love and security. I try to give my daughters and my husband those feelings every day!