1 YEAR & 6 MONTHS - 29 Dec 2011

Liva and Laia are 1½ years old today, happy birthday my lovely girls!!
We are amazed at what they can do, and people on the street (at the playgrounds, etc) are amazed at how tall they are for their age.
They understand everything we tell them in Danish and Catalan. One of our favorite games is for me to ask them in Danish where their nose is, their mouth, ears, eyes, hair, etc, and then for Albert to ask the same in Catalan. Or ask them to find differnt animals in their animal books. They seem to enjoy it as much as we do!
They say more and more words, and are starting to know a lot of them in both Danish and Catalan. Just today, Liva grabbed her ball and said "pilota" (Catalan). Then she showed it to me and said "bold" (Danish).
Now that they're bigger, everything is getting easier. They eat on their own, which means I can eat with them at the table, or organize the livingroom a bit while they eat - our diningroom table is in the livingroom, that way I'm in the same room as them. They drink from zippy-cups and are getting quite good at drinking from regular cups.
When we get ready to go out, I tell them to find their shoes and jackets, when we come home I tell them to put shoes and jackets away, find their slippers, come into the bathroom to wash their hands, etc.
Laia desperately wants to do everything on her own, and has the patience to practice and practice! She can now put on her jacket halfway (get one arm through), her newest obsession is putting on socks. The way she practices and practices everything she wants to learn, I think she'll be able to do it quite soon. Liva doesn't have patience at all, she'll try to do something once or twice, if she doesn't succeed she'll just leave it. I think she learns how to do things by watching Laia, she is very observant.
They're quite good at playing on their own or with each other, though these last few days there's been more fighting and crying than usual - they've been tired and confused because they were so off schedule over christmas. Today is the first day that we're more or less back to regular hours. They also both have a cold and cough a lot, meaning they don't sleep well at night. This of course doesn't help their already messed up schedule....
Basically, as I say every month, they are the most wonderful girls in the world, I am super proud of them, I am amazed by what they can do and how beautiful they are, and I am so proud and happy to be their mother!

1 YEAR & almost 6 MONTHS - 27 Dec. 2011

Christmas is over, which is both sad and a relief! My parents were here for four days, that was lovely! I was soooo sad to see them go!! Liva and Laia very quickly remembered who they were, and we had a great time going to cafés, playgrounds and strolling in the area.
We celebrated christmas eve on Dec 23rd to avoid stress, it was wonderful. We were just the four of us + my parents, started with a lovely dinner all together, then did the traditional walking around the tree while singing carols, before giving Liva and Laia their presents. It was wonderful to see how Liva and Laia enjoyed walkign around the tree, they kept asking for more everytime we stopped. They loved opening the presents, and went to bed happy!
Dec 24th we had a relaxing day, then went to my brother-in-law's with Albert's whole family and my parents for the traditional Catalan Caga Tio. That was nice as well, though Liva and Laia didn't quite understadn what was going on. It was also very late for them, and by the time we left they were just overly tired. But managed incredibly well! They are such lovely girls!
December 25th the six of us went for lunch at Albert's mom's house with Albert's dad as well. I have never seen Liva and Laia eat so much! The food was lovely as always, Liva and Laia ate everything they were given. We are so happy that they are such good eaters, it makes lunches and dinners so easy!
December 26th my parents left in the morning, that wasn't easy! In the afternoon Albert, Liva, Laia and I went back to Albert's mom's house, this time with Albert's brother and his family, the mom's boyfriend and a neighbour. Again the food was lovely and the girls ate loads, but this was the fourth day in a row where their schedule was completely screwed up, and they were clearly tired. We left shortly after the lunch was over.
So all in all a lovely, family-minded christmas with two absolutely wonderfully behaved little girls, who we are both extremely proud of!!

1 YEAR & almost 6 MONTHS - 22 Dec. 2011

As I've mentioned before, Liva and Laia love to help. Today after changing them, before putting them down for their nap, I organized their room a bit. There were two bodies which had to go in the hamper, I threw them on the floor in the hallway and figured I'd put them away after putting Liva and Laia down for their nap. As I was putting away some toys in their room, I see Laia pick up the two bodies and carry them into our bedroom. The hamper is behind our door, she closed the door and put the bodies where they were supposed to go. Then she came back out and went into the livingroom to play with Liva. I followed her and called her name. When she looked at me, I praised her for what she had done, and gave her a big hug. She looked completely surprised, I don't think she saw it as a big deal, I think it was completely normal for her to do it. Wow, I still get so amazed at the things my daughters do!

1 YEAR & almost 6 MONTHS - 20 Dec. 2011

Comments I get frequently when out with Liva and Laia:

  • The classic - "How 'guapos' they are!". 'Guapos' in Spanish refers to two boys or a boy and a girl. For two girls it would be 'guapas'. When I reply "GuapAs, gracias", it is ignored; Laia still has only very little hair and is a boy - dressed in pink and purple!
  • Another classic - "Are they 'gemelos'?" - identical boy or boy-and-girl twins. I reply "No, they are 'mellizas'." - non-identical girl twins. Most people then tend to reply, "Ah, mellizos, que guapos!". I ignore them!
  • "Besides the boy's hair being shorter, they are absolutely identical!" What??? They are in no way identical! People who actually know them normally comment that they are the most different twins they have ever seen.
  • "Do you purposely cut his hair shorter so you can tell them apart?" YES, because as their mother I can't tell them apart, especially not with them being girl and boy.
  • When I reply to people's astonished comments of "What, they're two girls? But he looks so much like a boy!" (Yes, HE they say!) with "She's dressed in pink!", they often reply something along the lines of "Yes, but with these modern parents nowadays you never know, the kids wear all colors.". Okay, true, but I don't think there are many moms who'd dress their boys in pink jeans, or pants with flowers on them, and a purple jacket?!?!
Do either of these girls look like a boy??

1 YEAR & 5½ MONTHS - 14 Dec 2011

Thank god for babysitters! Liva and Laia were driving me nuts this morning, doing everything they knew they weren't allowed to do. At one point Laia threw loads of her toys on the floor. I told her to pick them up, she looked at me, said "No!" and walked away. I grabbed her and made her pick up her toys, with a lot of fighting and crying from Laia's side. About 30 minutes later she brought toys into the bathroom while I was getting ready. She knows there are no toys allowed in the kitchen and the bathroom. I told her to take them back into the livingroom, she looked at me and said "No!" Again, I made her do it.
Liva decided to drop her cheerios all over the floor - twice! While I was preparing fruit for them in the kitchen they were opening cupboards, taking things out of shelves and drawers, playing with the garbage - all things they know they're not allowed to do. I had had enough, dragged them out of the kitchen and closed the safety gate. After 5 minutes of hysterical screaming, they went into their room. A few minutes later they were hysterically screaming in there. I go in to see what the problem is, and find them on top of each other, Laia pulling Liva's hair and Liva trying to bite Laia - or was it the other way around? I was about to explode and eventually put them in their beds, lights on and everything, I wasn't trying to get them to sleep. They calmed down after some minutes, so I took them out again. Five minutes later they were back in their beds! I managed to finish preparing their fruit, then heard the life-saving sound of the doorbell. Thank you Emily for coming at the right time in a wonderfully good mood and taking over!
We all four went down together after the girls had eaten and Emily had dressed them, she took the girls to the playground while I did some shopping and got a coffee before going home to finish my translation. On the way home a goodlooking young guy smiled and whistled at me. That made my day! After so many months of trying to diet and the scale telling me I have lost no weight (though I still wear pre-pregnancy clothes more than post-pregnancy clothes), and feeling pretty down about myself, my looks, my body and my weight, it was great to get a whistle and a smile from not only a guy, but a goodlooking guy!
So after a morning off for the first time in weeks, and with this marathon-nap Liva and Laia are taking - so far it's been 2 hours - I am ready to face the afternoon!

1 YEAR & 5½ MONTHS - 13 Dec 2011

It's been a lovely but rough 2 weeks.... Dec 6 and 8 are holidays here, this year they were on a Tuesday and a Thursday. Albert wasn't working but the shops were open. Tuesday morning I met up with a friend while Albert cleaned the apartment. In the afternoon my mother-in-law came at 16:00 and Albert and I went into town. We did some shopping, went out for dinner, and had a feeling of Saturday all day. Wednesday morning our babysitter sent me an sms that she was sick and wouldn't be coming. We can all get sick, but seriously?? She'd been working here two weeks and it was her second day of sickness. AND last week she was only supposed to be working Monday and Wednesday - she can't even make it to work two days in one week? So I fired her via e-mail. We contacted an American girl we've been in contact with before, she came to meet us all on Friday and seemed sweet. The problem was that I had a translation due Thursday which I had thought I could finish Wednesday morning while Charlotte was with the girls. Instead I was up late Wednesday evening finishing it off.
Thursday we all four went out to a christmas market and a playground, Saturday afternoon my mother-in-law came in the afternoon and Albert and I had our second Saturday of the week. Sunday we went to a christmas lunch with Barcelona Børn, a group for Danish or half-Danish families in Barcelona. It was fun seeing the older kids speak Danish with one parent and Catalan or Spanish with the other. It was great to see that it's not a problem for the kids!
Monday afternoon our new American babysitter Emily came. We all four went to a playground, then Emily was with Liva and Laia while I prepared their dinner. It worked great, they liked her straight away. She came back this morning and Liva and Laia were thrilled. They used to cry when Charlotte came, there was no reaction when Anne Louise came. It was lovely to see them actually happy when Emily came. We all went to a playground together, and met up with Susan and Luca. This way Liva and Laia have gotten used to Emily with me around. Tomorrow she'll take them to the playground on her own, I'm sure there won't be any problems. The main problem has been, however, that when I handed in the translation on Thursday, I was sent a new one the same day - the biggest translation I've had since Liva and Laia were born. Having to introduce a new babysitter and so losing working hours during the day has been quite rough! I've been up until at least midnight every night for the past 3 days, working on the translation. Deadline is on Thursday, I'm looking forward to getting a few hours tomorrow morning and hopefully being able to go to bed at a normal time. Tonight I'll be up late again, the few hours I'll get tomorrow are unfortunately not enough.
But Emily is great, she's married to a Catalan and they will be here until the summer. At least we seem to have the babysitter-problem solved for the next 6-7 months! I'm convinced 2012 will be a lot easier than 2011 has been; Liva and Laia are bigger, and though they're more work they're also easier and more fun to take care of and be with. And though they'll keep being more work, they'll keep getting bigger and bigger, and easier and easier in many ways!
Liva & Laia 17½ months

1 YEAR & 5 MONTHS - 1 Dec 2011

Today is December 1st, the day I should've lost another 2 kilos. According to our scale I've actually gained weight and am back where I started months ago. But I know that isn't true, I can feel it on my clothes! My 2 pairs of post-pregnancy pants are way too big on me now, and actually look quite horrible. They're not even really comfortable anymore. I can fit more and more of my pre-pregancy clothes, and it doesn't feel as tight anymore as it did a few months back. I have no idea why the scale says one thing and my clothes another. It's also not because I have been exercising loads and have converted fat into muscle which weighs more, I have hardly been exercising at all. So right now, I don't care what the scale says! I can fit a lot of my pre-pregancy clothes, I'm starting to feel good about myself again, and my husband clearly loves me the way I am. I'm not asking for anything more! :)
And anyways, I am so sleep-deprived I hardly know what I'm doing these days. 3 nights ago Laia woke up at 3:00. She went back to sleep, but in 10-15 minute intervals which meant that Albert and I didn't sleep anymore after 3:00. At 6 Liva woke up, that was the end of that night. It's impossible for Albert and I to go to bed early, no matter how tired we are. After tidying up the apartment a bit, cooking, eating, cleaning the kitchen and doing some work on the computer (Albert for the Master he's currently doing), it's always 22:30/23:00 by the time we get to bed. The same happened after the night Laia woke up at 3:00. We got to bed around 23:00, Laia was awake at 5:00 the next morning... 4 hours of sleep one night followed by 5-6 hours of sleep the following night really isn't enough! We assume it's because Laia hasn't been feeling good, hopefully it'll all be back to normal again soon. Tonight I'll try to get to bed early and hope the girls will sleep at least until 6:00/6:30 tomorrow.