1 YEAR & almost 7 MONTHS - 26 Jan. 2012

We still haven't had a good night's sleep. Liva is doing great, the only one in the family who isn't sick. Laia, Albert and I all have colds, runny noses and a cough. Laia doesn't sleep well at night, instead she slept until 8:10 this morning, wow! Liva was up at 6:45, but that's okay. Anytime after 6:30 is fine, the later the better!
Emily came over yesterday and felt horrible, she messaged me this morning that she'd really prefer not to come today because she is sick. She knows I work Thursdays, so she offered to come if nobody else could. But I started feeling sick yesterday afternoon, and woke up feelign really rough this morning. Already then I decided I would cancel my classes this afternoon, and do some translation work while Emily was here - I was sent an urgent translation late last night, due on Monday. I told Emily to stay at home and rest, I think we could all do with a couple of quiet days.
I took Liva and Laia down to the playground behind our house this morning, almost every time we go there we meet a little 2-year old girl called Paula, a sweet, beautiful little girl. Laia wasn't feeling well so Liva was thrilled to have someone else to play with. She and Paula walk around the playground hand in hand, played in the sand together, and had a fabulous time. Neither Laia nor Liva wanted to leave, which meant we got home quite late, they had lunch quite late, and were put down for their nap quite late. Unfortunately, they did not wake up quite late, so I had 2 cranky, tired girls for a looooong afternoon - which seemed even longer than it was because I felt worse and worse as the day progressed. I've been stuffing myself with medicin, and have just done an hour of translation. Though it's not even 22:00 yet, I'm going to bed! I'm exhausted. Albert, as I mentioned, also isn't feeling too great, he's not going to work tomorrow. I'm taking the girls out to a mommy-meeting in the morning, we all enjoy the Friday morning mommy-meets a lot, a lovely start to the weekend! Hopefully my mother-in-law is coming on Saturday - she retires on Tuesday, then life will be a lot easier! Next time I feel rough, I can call her for help. Next time the babysitter can't make it, I can call her for help. Next time Liva and Laia are driving me up the wall, I can call her for help.

1 YEAR & almost 7 MONTHS - 24 Jan. 2012

It's only a few hours since the last post... Liva quickly fell asleep, I prepared dinner, then sat down to work after Albert and I had eaten. I have a monitor next to me so I can hear the girls. At one point Liva started coughing, then made a gurgling sound like she was choking. I ran into their room and opened the door just as Liva started crying loudly. She was sitting up in bed, crying. I grabbed her and held her close. This is when I noticed the stench. I figured she had pooped, until a few seconds later I realized I was getting wet on my belly from holding her. My first thought was that she had pooped all the way up her belly, but when I pulled her away from me, I realized it was puke. Poor girl had thrown up all over herself and the bed. I changed and cleaned Liva while Albert changed her bedsheets. Liva cried for a while, then quickly got over it. We sat with her for a while and read books. I was looking at her, like really studying her, and it struck me (again) how beautiful she is! I just had to tell her. Albert agreed, and we both showered her with kisses. Liva just sat there, looking all shy and didn't know what to do. We put her back to bed after an hour or so, she fell back asleep but Laia woke up... Luckily she quickly fell asleep again. I managed to finish the first part of my translation, I have to finish the second part tomorrow. I hope to go swimming in the morning, come back and work a bit before Emily comes home with the girls, and then maybe work while they are napping. There are 2 shows on German TV I would really like to watch tomorrow night, so I'm setting myself a deadline of tomorrow afternoon.... Now I'm off to bed. Once again, I hope we can all have a good night's sleep!

1 YEAR & almost 7 MONTHS - 24 Jan. 2012

I am sooo tired - and didn't go swimmig this morning.... Laia is sick, she woke up last night around 23:30, just as we were getting ready for bed. She was awake for about an hour, then went back to sleep until 5:40 this morning. Albert took her into our bed, but she didn't go back to sleep. At 6:20 Liva woke up. Though it was my morning to sleep in - or at least sleep until Albert has to shower around 7:15 - I got up with Albert. Things are always more difficult when one isn't feeling well, and it's just nice to be two.
Albert left for work around 7:45, I managed to get Laia to take a nap around 8:15 - she slept for an hour! Liva wouldn't sleep, so I had a quick, stressful shower and a nice time playing with Liva alone for a while. Emily came shortly after Laia woke up, they had fruit and Emily dressed them while I cleaned the kitchen and got myself ready to go shopping. By the time I was ready, so were the girls, and we all left together. I came home and tidied up a bit, did some laundry, and sat down to work. Less than 1 hour later Emily came back with Liva and Laia, they were tired and Laia wasn't feeling too great. They had lunch, played with Emily while I cleaned the kitchen, then we put them down for their nap. Emily left, I had lunch, then sat down to work. Five minutes later Laia woke up. I have a deadline for a translation on Thursday, I really need to get some work done! I tried doing it with Laia on my belly, but that only lasted about five minutes.
Sick Laia resting on my belly
Liva slept for almost 2 hours, shortly after she woke up my friend Susan and her boy Luca came over. We played here for a while, then went to a mommy-meeting. It's been a long time since I've met up with this group, it was nice seeing them all again. Liva and Laia are among the oldest in the group, which is quite nice. I am so used to them always being the youngest.
We came home quite late, the girls were tired and getting cranky. Luckily Albert came home just a few minutes after us. He was with the girls while I heated up their dinner. Laia wouldn't eat anything, she was just tired and not feeling well. Liva ate loads, and was in a brilliant mood.
After they were in bed, Liva didn't want to sleep and was singing and making noises to herself (or her teddies, I don't know). At one point I went in there and she didn't have her pacifier. I asked her: "Where's your pacifier" and she replied: "There, Laia!". I asked her again, a little more annoyed: "Where's your pacifier?" and she replied, a little more annoyed: "There, Laia!". So I checked Laia's bed, and sure enough - there was Liva's pacifier! It might not be a big deal that kids can communicate at almost 19 months, but it's a big deal to us! Everyone says twins start talking later, and since Liva and Laia are growing up with 3 languages, we were not expecting them to start communicating at all yet - a few words here and there, yes, but not a combination of words! I was very happy and proud! Now I hope we all get a good night's sleep tonight!

1 YEAR & 6½ MONTHS - 22 Jan 2012

I went to the gym this morning! For the first time this year. Or, honestly, for the first time since November last year.... It was great, I decided to go swimming, did 20 laps in 20 minutes. I have no idea whether that's quick or slow or normal, and I don't really care. I feel good! Afterwards I went in the spa-bath for 10 minutes and had a free water-massage! When I was done, I met Albert, Liva and Laia in front of the gym, they had been to a plyaground while I had been swimming. We swapped, I took the girls home while Albert went to the gym. I plan to go Tuesday morning again, I think I have to stick to swimming and not going to the gym to run or ride bikes; I like swimming, and am quite motivated to go. I hate gyms otherwise...
Maybe this would be a good time to say something about my weight, something I haven't mentioned in months. But it's because I don't understand what's going on! Before Christmas I got on the scale, it said I weighed the same as before I started my so-called diet back in October. That can't be right, because my clothes fit differently. I decided to forget all about dieting over Christmas, and ate and drank whatever I felt like, as much as I felt like! Between Christmas and new year's I got on the scale again, I had supposedly lost almost 2 kgs over Christmas. Yeah, right... I forgot about the scale for a long time, my pre-pregnancy clothes looks better on me, my post-pregnancy clothes is way too big. Albert commented a few days ago that I had clearly lost weight. This motivated me to hop on the scale again - only to have it tell me I now weigh more than before I started dieting back in October. Yeah, right.... So now I give up on scales and go by my clothes, people's comments, and my own well-being!
When we got home after the gym, we skyped with my parents. That was nice, it's been a long time since we skyped and it was fun seeing Liva and Laia's reaction when they saw Mormor & Morfar on the computer screen.
I had walked home without a jacket, it's sunny, warm for the season and clear blue skies here. My parents showed me the snow in their yard through the webcam. Why is it I would like to move to Denmark??
Liva and Laia are back to their normal selves: happy, fun, well-behaved (most of the time) girls, that is such a relief!

1 YEAR & 6½ MONTHS - 20 Jan 2012

Liva and Laia had their 18-month check-up today, they are absolutely perfect! Liva is 83,5 cm tall and weighs 11,5 kgs, Laia is 87,5 cm tall and weighs almost 11,5 kgs. Development, reflexes, everything fine. They have 16 teeth each, 8 on top and 8 at the bottom.
After the doctor's we went to a playground, then home for lunch. Liva and Laia were put down for a nap and shortly after they woke up Albert came home. Today was my Friday afternoon off, so I went into town. I bought some books for Liva and Laia, and drewled over the iPad. I SO want an iPad, but there's no way I can afford one now. I play the lottery almost every week, but strangely enough I haven't won loads and loads of millions yet.... I always used to say: In 2005 Albert and I met, in 2006 we moved in together, in 2007 we got Tatanka and Tomahawk, in 2008 we were married, in 2009 we bought our apartment, in 2010 we had Liva and Laia so in 2011 we should win the lottery. It didn't happen, though. I can't think of a major event to remember forever for 2011...
I really enjoyed walking around on my own this afternoon. I used to hate being out on my own, I used to worry that people would think I was some sad loner or some loser who didn't have any friends. At the beginning of my pregnancy, the few times I felt OK, I'd go for coffee or a snack, and I used to think how wonderful it would be that I'd never have to go out on my own anymore - the girls would always be there with me. Liva and Laia have been going to cafés since they were only a few weeks old; I loved that I was not out alone. Now I cherish these moments on my own! Going wherever I want without worrying whether the (big, dobble) stroller will fit, or whether the girls will be too hot, too cold, bored, hungry, cranky etc is just wonderful! Going out without being stopped 10 times by people making well-meant but annoying comments is wonderful. Sitting at a café on my own staring into space and disconnecting completely for a while, or watching other people, is something I hadn't realized how much I've missed. Don't get me wrong, I adore my girls and I love being with them. I love taking them to cafés and spending time with them. But I am with them almost 24 hours a day, and have been since the moment they were born. I don't feel guilty leaving them for a couple of hours, and enjoying those hours to the fullest!
I came home shortly before Liva and Laia had to be put to bed - I was excited about showing them their new books, and just as I had expected they loved them! We spent family time together reading books before Liva and Laia were put to bed, then Albert and I had a nice, relaxed evening watching silly TV shows. I love Fridays, especially the ones where I get the afternoon off.
Unfortunately, Albert and I won't get our Saturday afternoon off tomorrow, my mother-in-law is with our niece and nephews for the weekend. We'll go visit her with the girls so Liva and Laia get to see their Iaia, if all the kids are well behaved we'll leave all 5 children with my mother-in-law (poor woman!!) for a few hours. We treasure these afternoons off, and hate to miss those few hours a week where we can be a couple without kids.
Though I can't afford an iPad, I do know I have a good life and I'm lucky to have Albert, our girls, our families and friends! Though we (still) haven't won millions and millions in the lottery, I have so much that money could never buy!

1 YEAR & 6½ MONTHS - 17 Jan 2012

Today has been a great day, Liva and Laia were in a much better mood! This morning was a bit hectic, I had a jobinterview which I was a bit nervous about, Emily was supposed to come early but got lost on her way here and came 20 minutes late, which did not help my nerves... Being nervous about the interview and about Emily not showing up meant I had no patience what so ever with poor Liva and Laia.
When Emily did arrive, I rushed out the door and made it to my interview - 40 minutes early, haha.....
I came home just as the girls were having lunch, then Emily and I got them ready for their nap together. She said Liva had been quite whiny and Laia had been her usual bullying self. They were extremely tired and fell asleep straight away. I figured they'd sleep for at least 1½ hours, I hoped they'd sleep around two. They woke up after 1 hour and 15 minutes, Liva crying as always. I could already feel my nerves dangling on the outside of my skin, and wondered how I'd get through the afternoon. Liva clearly wasn't feeling well, and just wanted to hang on me for the first ½ hour she was awake. Luckily, when one isn't feeling well, the other one seems to understand and accept that the twin needs more attention, so Laia played on her own on the floor, just came to stroke Liva's hair every now and then. After a while, Liva started feeling better and joined Laia on the floor. We stayed at home this afternoon, when Liva and Laia want to go out they go and find their shoes and make it quite clear. But today they played with their toys and were just happy to be at home. We actually had a great afternoon, I cooked dinner for them which they loved and ate loads of. Laia had just finished eating when Albert came home, Liva was finishing up. We all four played in the livingroom for almost an hour, the girls were happily laughing most of the time, it was really nice for all of us! Around 19:00 we started getting them ready for bed, by 19:15 they were in bed - almost 30 minutes later than normal. They giggled for a while, then fell asleep. I hope we can have many more evenings like this!

1 YEAR & 6½ MONTHS - 16 Jan 2012

Wow, it's been a tough 4-5 days! Liva and Laia are giving us such a hard time, we're about to explode! I don't know what the problem is, but Laia just doesn't stop bullying Liva, which then means Liva spends most of the day crying or whining. Laia headbutts Liva, knocks her over and lies on top of her, pulls at her clothes, pulls off her pants, takes whatever toy or book Liva has away from her, steals her snacks - basically just doesn't stop all day long! Liva can't stand up for herself at all, and just screams. At the same time, Liva doesn't listen to us at all anymore. If we tell her to come, she starts walking in the opposit direction while looking at us with a look on her face that just says "what are you going to do about it?". The same goes when we tell her to stop doing something - like throw her food or pour her water on the floor - or to do something - like pick up whatever she has just thrown on the floor or eat nicely. Basically anything we tell her, she does the opposit. If we then yell at her or tell her no, she starts crying.
She has also for reason decided to start waking up between 5:00 and 5:45 in the morning, which means on top of everything she is tired - as am I, and I have NO patience! Albert and I both have a lot of work stress and take turns getting up with the girls in the morning, so we are a family of four tired people, two rebellious toddlers, and two tired and stressed adults. This is really not a good combination! Luckily Albert and I are both very aware that we have to be careful how we treat each other, it's not the other person's fault that life is like this at the moment. So even though there are a few tense moments, Albert and I are able to support each other through this. The hardest part has been today, where I was alone with the girls most of the day. Emily came in the afternoon and took them out for an hour or so. Even she said they were hard to handle like this.... And it's an evil circle - I am already so sick of it all that I have no patience, meaning I get more angry than what might have been necessary at the particular moment, the girls then get more whiny and rebellious, and I get even more angry... I really hope this will stop soon, I don't know how to cope much longer!

1 YEAR & 6 MONTHS - 11 Jan 2012

Today is my birthday - 27 years old. Oh no, wait, 37...... Actually, honestly, the age doesn't bother me at all! I am right where I'd like to be in my life; I have a lovely husband who I love with all my heart! He gave me the most wonderful little girls, who I love with my heart and soul! We have a nice apartment, good jobs and the most patient cat in the world. What more could a girl (woman....) ask for?!
It's been a lovely day, Albert came in with Liva and Laia and woke me up this morning. He had decorated the livingroom with balloons and confetti, and made a present-treasure-hunt for me which ended with a lovely breakfast and an incredibly beautiful necklace.
In the morning Emily came and took the girls out for a few hours. I went shopping with the intention of getting something for myself in the sales. I came home with a bagful of clothes for Liva and Laia, two pairs of slippers for Albert, and an eight-euro pyjama for me. I just don't enjoy shopping for myself the way I used to enjoy it, I now love giving my family things!
In the afternoon I met up with a friend who has a 4-year old daughter. Liva and Laia were in heaven, they love playing with older kids! Albert cooked dinner for us, then we watched 2 of my favorite programs on TV, and went to bed. My mother-in-law offered to come over so we could go out, but there's no point in going out on a Wed night. We'll go out on Saturday instead, and have a nice dinner.
I got loads of messages from friends and family, and from a lot of people I hadn't expected to hear from, which really made my day! A wonderful day from beginning to end! Thank you everyone who helped make this day so special, happy birthday to me! :)

1 YEAR & 6 MONTHS - 9 Jan 2012

About 2½ years ago I used to look at all pregnant women with envy; I, too, wanted to be pregnant! But Albert kept saying he wasn't ready yet, and it wasn't the right moment. Is there ever "the right moment"? My pregnancy happened very much by chance, it was possibly not the best moment, but it was definitely not the wrong moment!
Three months into the pregnancy, I started looking at moms with babies in strollers with envy; they had the whole pregnancy-thing over and done with, as well as childbirth, something which really scared me! Completely unnecessary, since I didn't feel a thing and it was one of the most incredible moments of my life - the only part of the whole process I would repeat again! I never ever want to be pregnant again, I never want to be in labour again, I don't want to have more babies, but I do look back on the approximately 30 minutes it took to bring Liva and Laia into this world with great fondness and happiness!
When Liva and Laia were a few weeks old and I started taking them out more often, I used to look at moms with older kids in strollers with envy; they had this whole baby-thing over and done with. I didn't realize it at the time, but the first 6 months were rough! Babies are boring, trying to breastfeed 2, trying to set up a schedule for 2, trying to sleep normally with 2, it's just really hard! Luckily, I had no idea while I was in the middle of it, it's only now, looking back, that I realize just how tough it was.
Now, when I go out for walks, I look at the other moms and smile. I look at pregnant women and think "good luck - I hope your pregnancy is easier than mine was!", I look at moms with little babies and think "I hope you enjoy this time, it's rough but it flies by. Things only get easier and better!", I look at moms with kids who seem around Liva and Laia's age and think "I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am, I hope you enjoy your children as much as I do mine!", I look at moms with older kids and think "soon Liva and Laia will be that age, things will be easier than now, but I thoroughly enjoy every second of them now, and hope I will continue to do so in the future!".
There are still things I look forward to - I can't wait for Liva and Laia to start talking and communicating for real, I'm quite excited about getting rid of diapers - but I no longer envy anyone. I am happy just where I am! I am happy with Liva and Laia, I am happy to have been blessed with 2 children at the same time, I am thankful I never have to go through 9 months of pregnancy or 6 months of baby-life ever again!

1 YEAR & 6 MONTHS - 6 Jan 2012

Today is 3 King's day, a big celebration with loads of presents here. We started at home with presents for Liva and Laia, and presents between Albert and I. Around 9:30 we went to Albert's mom's house where Albert's dad and brother with his whole family also were. Again there were loads of presents as well as yummy brunch. All the kids loved it, as did we!
In the afternoon, after Liva and Laia's nap, we went to Albert's grandma's house. She had a small present for the girls, and we had some framed photos Albert had taken at her 90th birthday celebration. Albert's mom was there as well, which makes it all a lot easier - the grandma is half deaf and can't remember what happened 2 minutes ago.... We had a coffee, and as we were getting ready to go after about an hour there, Albert noticed a plate with a note for the grandma, that she had to remember to take the pill on the plate before going to bed; only there was no pill.... Albert asked his mom if there had been one before we arrived, to which she answered yes. We called the doctor and said there was a possibility that one of our daughters might have eaten this specific bill, we were told to rush to the nearest emergency room and have them checked, it could be VERY dangerous if they had eaten the pill. Luckily everything was normal with both girls, and we finally arrived at safe and sound at home at 19:00 - Liva and Laia's normal bedtime. They had not had dinner and had been eating junk all day. We gave them a large bowl of fruit since there was no time to start cooking for them, they were so tired, poor little things, and put them to bed.
A not so happy end to an otherwise really nice day. We're just happy both girls are OK!

Liva and Laia with their presents

1 YEAR & 6 MONTHS - 5 Jan 2012

We are so lucky with our pediatrician! A week ago we went to see her because Liva and Laia were coughing loads and not sleeping at night. She said there was nothing we could do about the coughing, but noticed that Liva had hand-foot-mouth desease... We were given some lotion for her mouth, given some advice reg. food, and were told that it's extremely contagious and Laia would probably get it soon, too. Laia never did get it...
Today we went back to the doctor's because their coughing has gotten worse, now it interrupts their naps as well - 2 girls who don't sleep properly at night and hardly nap during the day are hard to handle! Also, Liva has a rash all over her back and her chest. The doctor said the rash was caused by Liva's immune system being so extremely weak that her body takes on any virus that comes her way. We were given some drops for the coughing, twice a day for Laia and once a day for Liva.
But the best part is, when we're with the doctor we can ask her any question about anything, she takes the time to explain things and answer our questions. We never feel things are rushed or that we're taking up her precious time - as a lot of the mother's in the mommy-groups I go to complain about with their pediatricians!

1 YEAR & 6 MONTHS - 2 Jan 2012

Happy New Year!! Though we had a very surreal new year's eve because of me being sick Dec 30th and Albert being sick new year's eve, it was a nice, quiet start to the new year. But the best part was Jan 1st, we all went out for brunch and home along the beach. The weather was lovely and the girls love when we go out the four of us. We've been taking them to cafés ever since they were less than a year old, and they are so well behaved every time.
Ham and cheese sandwich for brunch

Looking out over the ocean

Wonderful weather Jan 1st at the beach