1 YEAR & 9 MONTHS - 29 March 2012

Liva and Laia are 21 months old today! So much happens so quickly now! They both desperately try to talk, but we still struggle with understanding most of what they try to tell us. They clearly understand each other, though, as well as everything we say to them in both Danish and Catalan, and a lot of what Emily says in English. That, to me, is very impressive!
They also pretty much dress themselves! I tell them to take off their pants and socks, then help them with the tops. Laia puts on all her clothes herself except her body and her socks - this week she even learned to pull her pants up all the way, she couldn't get them over her diaper before. Liva needs help with her top as well, but can put on her own pants. Laia can more or less put on her own shoes, Liva still can't.
They love helping around the house, they love going out without the stroller, they love playing, Liva loves being around other kids, especially if they're older. They love food, we give them new things to try almost every day, it's great seeing how they enjoy it!
They still fight a lot, and I don't understand that. I thought twins were supposed to be each other's best friends, Liva and Laia definitely aren't yet! But at the same time it's clear they love each other. They spontaniously give their sister hugs and kisses, if one cries the other one feels really sorry for her, and when we're out they keep a close eye on their sister.

Today we saw Luca for the first time in over a week, they were thrilled about that. We had a nice morning together - Albert was there as well, there's a major strike in the country today and he couldn't get to work. I was telling Susan about my new, crap working situation when the phone rang. A language school in Sabadell, about 30 minutes outside Barcelona, need a language teacher for 4 weeks, Monday-Friday 9:00-13:00. That would be absolutely perfect for me, I have an interview there tomorrow, I really hope I have more luck with this job than with the previous interviews I've had....!
Then, this afternoon a language school in Denmark called. They promised they could have given me fulltime teaching had I been in Denmark, but since I'm not they might be able to give me some skype classes. Now we're thinking about me going up to Denmark for a couple of months to see what this school could really give me. If I have no work here anyway, it doesn't really matter whether I'm here or there, I'd have to go where the work is. If I get the job in Sabadell, it'd only be 4 weeks, I could fly up mid-May until end of June and see how it all works out. Of course Albert hates the idea of being away from his three girls, and I hate the idea of being away from him and taking Liva and Laia away from their dad, but as long as it's only temporary, and it's because we're trying to improve our situation, it'll be okay. We'll manage somehow! Just the fact that I'm being offered work is a good thing!

1 YEAR & almost 9 MONTHS - 27 March 2012

This has been two strange days! Sunday evening I sent off my translation and, to my great surprise, I was sent the next project Monday morning already. Along with a mail explaining that this will be the last project from that company for the next couple of months, since they have no need for Danish translators at the moment... Darn! They're my biggest income, besides them I only have my few hours of teaching every week, we can't live off that.
Monday morning I took the girls to a friend's house, she has a little girl a couple of months younger than Liva and Laia, and a dog. It was nice doing something different, we took the metro there, Liva and Laia loved the whole morning, from we left until we got back home. Oh, and they slept until 7:30 Monday morning!
Monday afternoon Emily came, while she was out with Liva and Laia I got an e-mail from the translation company I interviewed with last week - I supposedly only scored 40% on the test they had me do, so then will not proceed with my application. WTF?? It was correcting a business letter which had been translated from English to Danish, and I cheated! My parents were here, my mom's a former Danish teacher, my dad's a Sales and Export Manager in an international company, they both helped me - my mom with the general Danish, my dad with the business language. How the F**K could I only get 40% on that test??? Well, nothing I can do about that! I spent last night and most of the morning today sending out applications, both here and in Denmark, hopefully something will come up somewhere soon!

This afternoon I met up with two twin moms at the Ciutadella Park playground, that was nice! One of the moms was my German friend who I hadn't seen for months, since before Christmas I think! Though it was very short, it was nice seeing her again! The other mom I met because her and her husband bought some stuff from us while she was still pregnant. Their twins are now 2 months old. It was sweet seeing little baby twins, but I am so happy I now have toddlers and not babies anymore!! I love that Liva and Laia just ran around and played on their own while I sat and chatted with the other moms.
We left the playground quite late, I figured Albert would be on his way home from work and would be in the area, so I calle dhim to see where he was. As luck would have it he was just a few minutes away. He came to meet us and we all walked home together. After putting the girls to bed I skyped with one of my best friends who lives in Sweden, talking to her always makes me happy!

1 YEAR & almost 9 MONTHS - 25 March 2012

This has been an absolutely wonderful weekend! Friday morning I took Liva and Laia to their favorite playground at Park de la Ciutadella. On the way there we pass my mother-in-law's builing, and Liva and Laia start calling for her. I spontaniously called her on Friday, she happened to be out but very close to her house, so we met up and she came along to the playground. The girls loved that both their grandma and their mom was at the playground with them. Albert came home shortly after they woke up from their nap, and we all went to Poble Nou, one of my favorite parts of Barcelona. We walked around a bit, had tapas and went home.
Saturday morning we all went back to Park de la Ciutadella, we didn't go to the playground, instead we walked around and looked at all the animals. There were geese, goslings, ducks, turtles, parrots as well as all the dogs. The weather was brilliant, and we all enjoyed it loads!

When we came home we all had lunch together. The girls love it when we all eat together, but it's unfortunately something which doesn't happen very often. Liva and Laia have dinner too early, Albert normally isn't even home yet. I don't actually know why we never have lunch together at the weekends - probably because Albert and I often don't really have lunch at the weekend. It might be an idea to change that, and all eat together at least one of the days. Liva and Laia have breakfast with their dad every morning, and a fruitsnack with me a few hours later.
Sunday morning Albert took the girls out while I worked on a translation, I took them out in the afternoon while Albert cleaned the house a bit.
Last night we put the clocks back an hour, summertime started. I love this time of year, I love the long evenings! But - now that we have kids it's a bit different, Liva and Laia didn't sleep until 20:30 tonight, normally they're out by 19:15ish. It'll be interesting to see what time they wake up tomorrow morning!

1 YEAR & almost 9 MONTHS - 21 March 2012

Last week I decided to make a small change in the daily routine: I have always showered after Albert left for work, the last few weeks it was dreadfull, Liva and Laia would either be fighting in the bathroom, be running around breaking things or hurting themselves, or quietly be doing things they knew they shouldn't be doing. My showers were stressful, and when I got out I always got mad about something they had done. So we decided I should shower while Albert has breakfast with the girls. My parents have just been here for four wonderful days, and the showering hasn't been a problem. Only this morning did we try the new (to be) routine for the fist time, it was great! It meant that after Albert left I had time to sit and read books with Liva and Laia, I had time to tidy up the apartment a bit, there was nothing stressful about my shower, there was no reason to be angry at Liva and Laia. It has been one of the best mornings for a long time!
Emily came, and though it was very grey outside I suggested they risk going to the playground anyway. Poor girls all got stuck outside in a torrential-like downpour! They quickly came home again, we changed the girls, sat in the livingroom for a bit, then I went to the computer to prepare my classes for tomorrow. The few times I've tried to get some work done while Liva and Laia have been at home with a babysitter it's been impossible. Today they've been playing in the livingroom with Emily all morning, only once or twice have they come into the computerroom to say hi. It's so nice that they are getting older and things are getting easier and easier. It's just such a shame we'd lose Emily if I had to work fulltime!

1 YEAR & almost 9 MONTHS - 20 March 2012

I am soooo confused! On Friday I heard from the translation company again. They are considering me for the position of Quality Manager, and asked me to do yet another test - I had already done 4 (!!) for the project coordinator posotion. I did the test yesterday, and am now waiting to hear back from them. BUT - this morning Emily told us that she has been offered a job at the airport. She could still continue a couple of hours a week with us, but can't work here fulltime if I get a fulltime position. Since the job at the airport pays more than we ever could, I don't blame her. And, this weekend I calculated how much we would have to pay a babsitter to come her for 30 hours a week, it turned out that I'd be left with practically nothing after paying my part of the mortgage, babysitter, phone, etc. Albert also doesn't earn millions, and can't pay much more than his share either. So though it looks like I have a shot at this job, I'm not even sure I'd be able to accept it if it were offered to me. Unless of course this position pays a bit more, or they'd be willing to pay me a bit more... Hmm, we'll see what happens, I still haven't been offered the job.

1 YEAR & 8½ MONTHS - 15 March 2012

Life seems a bit unfair at the moment... I love my girls, and I am grateful that I've had the oportunity to stay at home with them for the first 1½ years of their life, while still being able to earn money. However, I'm ready to get back out into the working world again! On Monday I had an interview in a huge translation company for the position of translation project coordinator. The position sounds very interesting, and during the interview they told me they also needed a quality manager, would I be interested? I told them yes. The problem with both positions is that they're fulltime - 40 hrs/week with a schedule of 10:00-19:00 Monday through Friday - and pay an average Barcelona salary (read: pretty crap!). I would be working way more hours earning the same or less than what I earn now, and I would hardly see my girls. All Monday and Tuesday I was thinking about what to do should they offer me the position. I would hate to see Liva and Laia so little, almost half of my salary would go to pay Emily for working here fulltime, and I would no longer have the freedom of working from Denmark whenever I missed family and friends there. But I would have a fixed, secure income, a contract with all its benefits, and a position in a worldwide, wellknown translation company, with posibilities of working in other countries, promotions, etc. After a lot of thinking, worrying and debating with myself and my conscience, I finally decided that I would accept the job. Either of the positions! I started calculating how much money we would have to pay Emily, tried to make a schedule between her and my mother-in-law, contacted private daycare centers, etc. BUT - they told me at the interview on Monday that if I hadn't heard from them by Friday, it would mean I haven't gotten the job. It's now Thursday noon, and I still haven't heard from them.... Typical! After 48 hours of my head being a complete mess while trying to decide what I should do, I probably won't even get the job. And I had been so excited when I finally decided Wednesday evening that OF COURSE I would accept the job. Bummer!!
I guess I'll just have to keep applying for work, and enjoy the time with Liva and Laia now, since you never know what the future will bring!

1 YEAR & 8 MONTHS - 7 March 2012

Liva and Laia have been in such a great mood for the past 2-3 weeks, it's so incredibly wonderful! It started in Denmark, we of course thought it had something to do with them being there, and having loads of people around all the time. But we've been back i Barcelona for 4 days now, and they're back to their regular schedule, and back to spending most of the time with just me. And they are still in a wonderful mood! They play and laugh and giggle, they give me hugs and cuddles all the time, they hug each other all the time, they hug and cuddle Albert any chance they get, and they even give Emily and my friend Susan big cuddles.
Today we walked to a playground which is about 4-5 blocks from here, there we met up with Luca and Susan and played for a while. We all walked 2 blocks to Starbuck's where the kids ran around most of the time. Then I walked home with Liva and Laia, again 4-5 blocks. They walked all the way, had fun looking at windows, smiling at all the people we passed, holding each other's hand and looking at all the cars, busses, birds etc. on our way. I had been worried about the walk home because they were already getting tired and hadn't stopped moving for 2 hours. There were no problems what so ever! I absolutely enjoy being with them these days, I hardly ever get angry or annoyed with them lately because there's just no reason to, and they make me laugh loads of times during the day. We are truly lucky to have such wonderful daughters!

1 YEAR & 8 MONTHS - 6 March 2012

I haven't been able to open my blog since last time I wrote, all I get is "error on the page". Now I've downloaded firefox and have opened it there....
Well, what has happened since last time? We finished off a great stay in Denmark and had a lovely flight home. I flew alone with Liva and Laia and was a bit worried since they are now much more active and get bored more easily. I also knew they wouldn't sleep since we weren't flying during nap-time. It went really well, Liva and Laia were so good! We had 3 seats, I sat in the middle. The girls looked at books, played with the few toys I had brought, had snacks and just genereally behaved themselves really well and seemed to have a good time. I was very, very proud of them!
They turned 20 months on Feb 29th, and so much has happened in the past month! They can both take off jackets, socks, pants and hats, and they can both put on hats and their jacket half-way (get one arm through, they need help getting the other arm through), Laia can also put on pants and get her top over her head. She can also put on her boots, but not yet her shoes. It's so much easier when they can do more and more things on their own.
They say more and more words, and love trying to repeat the words we say. They talk loads between themselves, and often try to talk to us using their language. They get SO frustrated when we don't understand what they're trying to tell us, but between the words they know and using signs, they can make themselves understood most of the time. They can spend more time playing on their own and are starting to get really good at playing with each other. They have a great sense of humor and know how to make us laugh by making funny faces, walking strangely or doing other weird/funny things.
They are very loving girls, love giving and getting hugs and kisses. When we pick them up they give us a cuddle or put their head on our shoulder. In the past couplle of weeks they've started hugging each other loads. Though they still often fight, they are starting to enjoy each other's company, and it shows that they are starting to really love each other. Sometimes one will do something cute/funny/silly and the other will laugh and give her a big hug. If one cries, the other comes straight away to pat her head and give her a pacifier. Sometimes they walk around the house hand in hand singing, for no apparent reason other than wanting to hold the sister's hand and enjoying it. They sing and dance loads, often holding hands and walking around in a circle. Their favorite song is the Barney themesong, and Barney is still their favorite show.
They are lovely girls through and through, the older they get the more we see it!