1 YEAR & almost 8 MONTHS - 26 Feb. 2012

The reason I haven't written in ages is that we're in Denmark, and it's GREAT!! The weather is nice, it has hardly rained and though it's cold we're all dressed warmly and enjoy it. We've even had some days with beautiful blue sky and sunshine. We see my family loads, Liva and Laia are having such a good time, laughing and playing all the time. The frist week we were here Albert was here as well, now it's just me and the girls. We don't do much, I had a translation to work on last week, I hope to get another one this week. We just hang out with my mom who only works part-time so has loads of time to be with us, my dad when he gets home from work, my brother and his family when they have time, and this weekend my aunt, cousin and cousin's boyfriend came for a visit, that was really nice! I still don't know when I'll fly back to Barcelona with the girls; I had hoped to have some jobinterviews while I was here, but nobody has called.... I would love to just stay here, but I make my money in Barcelona (besides the translations which I can do anywhere), and of course we miss Albert loads - he can't just come up and be with us for weeks and weeks.... So I'll probably fly back to Barcelona next weekend, though I would love to stay - unless I should be so lucky that someone calls for a job interview.
In front of my parent's house

Out for a walk and feeding the ducks

Out for a walk

Playing in the garden with cousin Freja

Coloring with cousin Freja

1 YEAR & 7½ MONTHS - 15 Feb. 2012

A few weeks ago I read an article in a baby magazine, which really got to me. It was about how kids learn by watching their parents. There were different examples of amazing kids who could do loads of things at just 1-2 years old. The story that really stuck with me was about the son of two architects. They worked at home, so this little boy spent most of his life watching his parents draw. He started copying them, and at 18 months or so he could draw straight lines, at 2 years he could trace the outline of any shape he was given. I was amazed by this, and shocked at how much kids learn by watching and copying their parents. Then I started thinking about Liva and Laia. I also work from home, they see me working loads during the day. But what do they see? Their mom sitting in front of the computer.... Is that really setting a good example? I also teach, which means I dress professionally and leave the house. When Liva and Laia were about 1 year old, Laia used to put their toy mobile in her little handbag, wave goodbye and "leave" - just like I do to go to work.

The first few weeks after reading the article, I was worried. Besides pretending to leave the house with their mobile, what were Liva and Laia learning from me working from home? Will they want to sit in front of a computer all the time when they are older? How can we teach them that a computer is not a place to spend hours and hours when they're older, when they see their mom doing exactly that every day?
But then I looked at it from a different angle. They don't see me in front of the computer for hours and hours, since I can't work with them around. I work when they're asleep or out with the babysitter. What they do see, is their mom getting dressed, their mom doing things around the house, their mom talking to other people on the street, their mom being gentle with Tatanka, and their mom playing with them every day and giving them a lot of love.
Laia can almost dress herself, both girls love helping with anything around the house, they answer when people on the street say hello or goodbye, they are extremely gentle with Tatanka, dogs we meet on the street - very often the owners comment on how good they are with the dog, that other little kids are not that gentle - with small babies and with each other, they play really well with each other, and they are very loving girls who give hugs and kisses to all the people they know and love. So no, I'm not a bad example to my children. I am proud of the little people they are, and how they treat each other and other people. I try to always set a good example in every situation of every day. Of course that doesn't always work, there are people I just don't like or who simply annoy me, Liva and Laia notice this as well, and refuse to say hi or bye to these people. Our neighbour is a sick old man - and I mean mentally sick! - who I can't stand! Liva and Laia cry every time they see him. There's an old woman who always comments on how unbelievably alike Liva and Laia are, yet always asks whether it's a boy and a girl. I am sick of her, Liva and Laia look the other way when she talks to them.
So yes, children do learn from their parents, both the good and the bad. Liva and Laia might not be able to draw a straight line or trace shapes, but they can do so many other things and, most importantly, they know how to interact with other people which I personally believe is a very important ability!

1 YEAR & 7½ MONTHS - 13 Feb. 2012

WE'RE GOING TO DENMARK!! All four of us!! On Friday!! YIPPEEE!!
Our elevator is being fixed - they were supposed to start today but there's nobody working on it yet - which means we'll be without elevator for at least 3 weeks. They've been talking about it for months, I have said all along it would be a great reason to go to Denmark. Living on the top floor with two little girls and no elevator is no fun! Though Liva and Laia love climbing up and down stairs and are quite good at it, they do need a bit of help. With this cold we're having, I have to bring thick blankets for the stroller, besides their usual bag and the bag of toys. The stroller is downstairs, but getting all the rest + 2 girls eight floors down just won't be any fun! I'm glad we had the elevator today still when we went out this morning.
So, we all leave on Friday, Albert stays in Denmark for 1 week, I stay for about 2½ weeks with Liva and Laia - we still don't have a return ticket, I'll get that when I feel ready to come back to Barcelona, and when Albert tells me the elevator is working again. I am soooo looking forward to going, we haven't been since the summer!

1 YEAR & 7 MONTHS - 11 Feb. 2012

Things are still normal, which is great after 2 weeks of abnormality! We're all sleeping through the night until about 6:30-7:00, Emily comes and takes the girls out while I get some work done at home, my mother-in-law came on Thursday and will be coming every Thursday from now on to be with the girls while I go teach, and today Saturday we went to my brother-in-law's in the afternoon and had my mother-in-law come over in the evening while Albert and I went out for a short while.
The only thing that's not normal is the weather in Barcelona - it's freezing!! And I'm not exaggerating, it's seriously around zero degrees and has been for days. We're not used to these temperatures here, and don't have clothes for such coldness, especially not for Liva and Laia. But it's still sunny, and there's a playground close to our house where there's no wind and loads of sun, we've gone there a few times this week.
It's just great that we're all healthy again, and back on schedule!
Sunny, warm playground near our house

1 YEAR & 7 MONTHS - 7 Feb. 2012

Things are back to normal and it's lovely! Liva and Laia have been in such a good mood these days - though Liva has started throwing some horrible tantrums when she doesn't get her way. I've never seen anything like it, she screams and throws herself on the floor. Luckily she only does it at home (for now....), she's a little angel when we're out!
We were back on shedule yesterday, went to a playground and met up with Susan and Luca, the girls were thrilled to see him again! As luck would have it, a little Catalan girl who we've met at different playgrounds over the months was there as well, all the kids had loads of fun together. In the afternoon Emily came, she was all active and ready for an afternoon with Liva and Laia, and took them to another of their favorite playgrounds. A lovely days with loads of giggles and laughter! This morning Liva and Laia woke up at 6 already, an hour earlier than they've been waking up this past week - luckily it was my turn to sleep and Albert's turn to get up, I got to stay in bed until 7:15! Once again, Liva and Laia were in a brilliant mood. Emily took them to a playground while I went for a check-up at the doctor's. I'm all fine again, but she recommended I don't go swimming just yet. That will have to wait until Sunday then, since I can't any other days during the week.
Liva and Laia wouldn't nap for some reason today, it took me an hour to get them down. Once asleep, they slept for almost 2 hours, giving us a nice, short afternoon. I decided not to go out with them though I had planned on going to the mall this afternoon. But by the time they had had their snack it was too late to go anywhere beside the playground behind the building, I just wasn't in the mood for that today.
I am already looking forward to tomorrow, Emily is back in the morning and I have to finish a translation while she's out with the girls. Hopefully I'll be meeting up with another twin mom in the afternoon, but though our girls are pretty much the same age, they are on completely different schedules and it's difficult to find a time that suits us both. It would be nice to see her again, though, I haven't seen her since before Christmas!

1 YEAR & 7 MONTHS - 5 Feb. 2012

It's Sunday evening, and it very much looks like things will be back to normal next week. We've had a whole day of not leaving the house today, I slept until 10 this morning and everybody seemed fine with having a qiuet morning at home. Also, it's just about 1 degree in Barcelona, completely abnormal and not the kind of weather we have clothes for... Especially not for Liva and Laia. I predicted that they would not nap for very long since they hadn't been out in the morning, and hadn't done any running around or other activity to tired them out. Gosh, was I proven wrong! Laia slept for a bit more than 2 hours, Liva slept for 2½ hours. By the time they woke up it was too late to start getting them dressed and getting everything ready to just go out for an hour - or, to be completely honest, neither Albert nor I felt like getting them dressed and getting everything ready just to go out for an hour.... So we spent the entire day inside. Which, especially with this weather, can also be really nice. Our last day of being all together all day, tomorrow Albert's back to work and "real life" starts again. I think it might be a tough day, Liva and Laia are glued to their daddy when he's here, they're going to hate not having him around tomorrow! And so am I... I'm hoping that we can meet up with my friend Susan and her son Luca tomorrow morning, we haven't seen them in about 2 weeks, I know Liva and Laia would love to see Luca again. And I think just going to a playground and seeing other kids will be nice for them, we haven't done that in over a week because they've been sick. That will distract them a bit from not having Papa here. And as I mentioned yesterday, though this week has been really nice, I am looking forward to getting some normality back in our lives - our schedule, our healthier eating habits, going out and meeting people, and getting some work done while Emily is out with Liva and Laia.

1 YEAR & 7 MONTHS - 4 Feb. 2012

Ugh, what a week! We've all been sick, Albert and I are on antibiotics - with me it was so extreme that the doctor suspected pneumonia, but luckily that was false alarm - and we're all four only slowly recovering now. It's no fun when we're all sick, nothing gets done around the house, nobody cooks, we hardly go out... But it's been really nice being together as a family for a whole week, we got to spend loads of time cuddeling on the couch, watching TV and reading stories all together. The advantage of all of us being sick is that nobody feels like doing anything. It took a bit longer to hit Liva than the rest of us, poor girl was soo bored for the first few days while she was feeling okay and we were all feeling dreadful.
Liva and Laia turned 19 months last Sunday, but that went quite unnoticed with us all being sick. I don't think there's much to add from their 18-month birthday as to what they can do, they just get better and better at doing those things.
My mother-in-law retired and has been here a few times, but it's also no fun for her to come to a house full of sick people and cranky grandchildren. She's coming over this afternoon and Albert and I will go out for a few hours - our Saturday afternoon off! We still don't feel too great, but well enough to take a break from it all!
I hope everything will be back to normal next week, that we can have our shedule back, that we can sleep through the night again (we're almost there!), that we'll all feel good again, that I can work without wishing I could just go to bed, and that I can go to the gym!