2 YEARS & 3 MONTHS - 30 Sept 2012

WHY do they do this??? For weeks I have been teaching at home every day, my students come to me at 9 or 10 in the morning, giving us all plenty of time to get ready. Every morning Liva and Laia have been getting up anytime between 5:15 and 6:00. Tuesday this week I started classes in Copenhagen again, from now on I have to leave the house at 7:45 at the latest every Tuesday and Thursday, meaning Albert and I both have to shower, get dressed and have breakfast, and we also have to get the girls ready. If we get up around 6:00 it's not a problem, we have loads of time. Tuesday morning Laia slept until 6:30, Liva slept until 7:00. The one morning where we all had to get up anyway, so it would've been OK if they had woken up at 5:30 or 6-ish. Wednesday morning I taught at home again, Liva comes into our bed at 5:25 and doesn't go back to sleep. Thursday morning I have to leave early, we all have to get up early; Liva sleeps until 6:30, Laia we had to wake up at 7:10! Today, Friday, I had two students come here, the first one at 10:30. And what happens? Both girls are awake at 5:10. WHY??? Why can't they wake up early Tuesdays and Thursdays, and sleep when we don't all have to get up early? We could sleep until 7:00 all the other days, and still have plenty of time in the morning. But no, those days they have to get up before 6:00! So why do they have to sleep in the other 2 days? I can't remember the last time they slept until 7:00 before this week, why do they have to start doing it now that we have to get up and get ready?
Oh well, the perks of having little ones, right?!? :) At least it's Friday and I'm done teaching for the day! Time to enjoy the weekend, hope you all have a good one!

2 YEARS & 2 MONTHS - 25 September 2012

I am so happy about Liva and Laia's new daycare! Every time I pick them up in the afternoon they are in a brilliant mood. Though they are tired they are happy, I always find them playing somewhere, very often together but also sometimes apart. They come home and have learned new songs, new movements to the songs, have been coloring or something else fun. In the old daycare they spent all day outside on the playground, most of the time playing with water. They were wet and dirty when we came to pick them up, and hardly ever wore the same clothes as when we had dropped them off in the morning. Most of the time they wandered around looking bored, very often they were crying.
I met a mom from the old daycare a few days ago, they are from Hungary and so didn't know how the whole system works here in Denmark. She told me that her daughter, who will be 3 in November, hates the daycare and spends all day crying. A few weeks ago she fell out of the pram she was napping in, now she's afraid of sleeping at the daycare. The mom is worried she'll lose her job because they call her almost every day from the daycare, telling her she has to come pick up her daughter early because she is non-stop crying. And of course the mother feels horrible about leaving her child there every day. Since we had said from the beginning that we wanted Liva and Laia to go to the daycare near our house - we didn't even know that it has the reputation of being on of the best, if not the best, in town - their place at the old daycare was always just temporary. But since this other mom accepted the place at that daycare as the one for her daughter - without knowing that it's one of the worst in town, poor people - her only option now is to sign the girl out of daycare, get her on a waiting list for a different daycare, and then wait. That could take months! No family can do that. So the mother is devastated about leaving her daughter in a place neither of them like for hours and hours every day, and the daughter is sad and crying all the time, and of course very, very tired since she doesn't nap. We really have been lucky! :) Time to prepare a small snack now and go pick up my lucky, happy girls in what we consider the best daycare ever!

2 YEARS & 2 MONTHS - 16 Sept. 2012

What a totally weird day today... We're all still not feeling great, so our nights are very interrupted by coughs, cries and nightmares - from all four of us. Today is Sunday, which means I got to sleep in this morning. Well, kind of, anyways. The girls came into our bed at 5:00 and did not go back to sleep. After an hour of trying we eventually gave up. Albert tried going down with the girls, but they refused if I didn't come down as well. I went down with them for a while, but since I was feeling horrible, and since I had already missed out on sleeping in last Sunday because Liva was hysterical and Albert was in a bad mood (and I had been out partying with my work Saturday so had slept less than 5 hours but had gotten up anyways!), I decided that I was going back to bed this morning, no matter what anyone said! I managed to fall asleep again and woke up at 9:30. It's a windy, gray day - yes, fall is starting here in Denmark.... - so we stayed in all morning. Around lunchtime Liva and Laia were super tired, so we figured they'd sleep for 2 hours when we put them down for their nap. Wrong! They refused to sleep!! We spent an hour trying to get them to sleep, they kept getting out of bed, running around upstairs, pooping in their diaper knowing that we'd have to change them, and moving furniture around in their room. After having told them 100 times (at least!) to go to sleep, we gave up. We could hear them playing upstairs and decided to just leave them for as long as it lasted. They actually played for about 40 minutes before they started throwing toys down the stairs. We took that as a sign that they had had enough.
Of course, since they had been up since 5:00, they were extremely tired all afternoon, so we had to somehow keep them entertained non-stop. First we went on the balcony and planted some plants we bought last weekend. They had fun playing with the soil while Albert and I managed to plant all the plants, our balcony looks really nice now! :) Afterwards we went upstairs and got out all the winter clothes so we are ready for the cold. Liva and Laia are such girls and love clothes. There was clothes from last year which we had them try on to see if it still fits, and there was clothes from a friend of mine's daughter which we also had to see if they could fit. They can undress and dress themselves, and love doing it, this was a great way for them to practice even more, and for us to get all the clothes ready and organized. We spent a couple of hours playing with the clothes, then prepared dinner, bathed the girls and put them to bed. They slept within 5 minutes. It's fun watching them play and learn more and more as they get older, they are such fun girls and have a great sense of humor. Though they can be VERY exhausting at times, we do really enjoy spending time with them. I just wish they wouldn't fight and argue as much as they do, but I've read in various twin books that it is perfectly normal at this age. I hope it's just a stage and that it ends soon. I always thought twins were each other's best friends, I hope Liva and Laia will be at some point (soon!).

2 YEARS & 2 MONTHS - 13 Sept. 2012

Last night we all 4 slept in the big bed all night for the first time! Liva and Laia have slept in their own beds since they were born, for the first 4 or 5 months they shared a bed and slept in our bedroom at night and in their own room for naps during the day. When they got too big to share a bed we moved them into their own room in separate beds. We only took them into our bed if they were sick, but even then the girls preferred sleeping in their own room with their sister. Ever since they have been big enough to make themselves understood, they have made it clear to us after 10-15 minutes in our bed that they want to go back to their own bed by pointing towards their room and saying the sister's name. Since we prefer not having them in our bed, it has never been a problem for any of us! :)
A few weeks after their 2-year birthday we removed one of the sides of their beds, so they no longer have bars on one whole side and can get in and out of bed as they please. A lot of the people I know with toddlers of a similar age did it much sooner, shortly after the child's first birthday. We just couldn't handle the thought of Liva and Laia being able to get of bed on their own, and kept postponing it. We were really worried we'd just end up paying in the end anyways, and eventually decided to just get it over with one weekend. To our huge surprise it went really well! The first 2-3 nights they got out of bed a few times, but nothing like what we had expected! They also fell out of bed once or twice the first 3-4 nights, but they don't fall far, and we have sheep-skin rugs for them to land on. They'd curl up on the rug and continue sleeping. After a couple of falls they started climbing back into bed on their own before we even made it upstairs after hearing the thump, and were asleep again by the time we got up. After the first week they completely stopped falling out of bed. They of course still get out of bed after we put the down for the night sometimes, especially Liva, but it's not every night, and it's not as bad as we had feared! For being only 2 years old they're doing really well! In the mornings they always come into our bed when they wake up, then we all snooze and cuddle for 15-30 minutes before getting up, a lovely start to the day!
But yesterday we were all sick! Albert and I had a fever and both felt horrible, Laia had a cough and was complaining about an earache, Liva was just generally not feeling good. We put the girls to bed around 18:30, by 21:00 we were in bed ourselves. About 1 hour later Laia started coughing and crying. We tried a few times to get her to fall back asleep in her own bed but eventually decided to take her into our bed, something we generally do when they aren't feeling well. Shortly after Liva must have realized she was on her own, because she came in with her pillow in her hand and her pacifier in her mouth. Without a word she threw her pillow on top of mine and lay down next to me, demanding blanket. Though Albert said, shortly before we all fell asleep, that they had to go back into their own beds after a while, we all had a decent night's sleep in the big bed. It was actually quite nice! :) Not something I would do every night, but I did enjoy us all lying together last night.

2 YEARS & 2 MONTHS- 12 September 2012

I don't know what to do with this blog; I'd really love to keep writing it, I often think about what to write for my next post, but then I never get around to doing it. In Barcelona I worked from home and was on the computer all day, not being on the computer made me feel guilty. Writing this blog was a welcome break from work, without feeling guilty because I was still on the computer. Now I'm hardly ever on my computer. I check e-mail and facebook on my phone, and I don't do any work whatsoever on the computer. It's almost a hassle having to go into the computerroom, switch on the computer, sit here and look at the screen...
But I've decided to try to keep this blog going, because I do really enjoy writig it! :)

Liva and Laia had a lovely birthday, my mother-in-law was here from Spain. Liva and Laia had loads of presents in the morning, mainly from their Iaia but also some from Albert & me. I had the day off so Iaia and I had a nice day with the girls. In the evening my parents came over for a birthday dinner, it was a lovely day. Two days later we had a small celebration in the garden for some family, that was great as well, Liva and Laia loved the day and were extremely happy!
Presents in the morning
Birthday dinner
Birthday in the garden
Birthdaycake in the garden

Liva and Laia still love daycare, even more now that they are in the daycare that Albert & I originally wanted them to go to. They started September 1st, I was very worried about how they would manage, they were so happy in the other daycare and had been there for 3 months. I took them to the new daycare 3 Friday afternoons and played with them on the playground, talked to the adults who work there, and made sure Liva and Laia met some of the other kids. The Monday they started I went with them and stayed for about 30 minutes, then I went home to teach for 2 hours, and rushed back to pick them up after lunchtime, before naptime. They were happy and had had a great time. According to the adults there they hadn't cried at any point. The next day Albert and I both dropped them off in th morning, Albert stayed for about 10 minutes, I stayed for about 20. We had agreed they should try napping there, but if there were any problems at all the daycare should call me, my students were warned that I might have to leave suddenly. But there was no phonecall, when I finished teaching I rushed up to the daycare and got there at 14ish, shortly after Liva and Laia had woken up from their nap. They were having such a good time playing that they refused to leave. I ended up staying there with them until almost 16:00. It felt sooo good seeing them so happy there - much happier than in the old daycare! This new daycare has a fixed schedule - there's breakfast until 8:00 (something Liva and Laia never experience since they never get there until just after 8:00), a fruit-snack at 9:00, then they all go play outside on the playground. At 11:00 there's lunch, after lunch all the kids are put down for a nap. At 14:00 there's another snack, then they all go outside and play again, at 17:00 there's another little snack, which Liva and Laia have so far only had once because they're normally picked up between 15:00 and 16:00. Yesterday it was pouring rain all day and I really didn't feel like walking up there with the stroller, so we agreed Albert should pick them up after work, the only day they were picked up at 17:00. When he picked them up that late from the other daycare they were cranky, hungry, wet and mostly crying. When he picked them up yesterday he said they were having their snack and in a great mood. They were happy when they arrived at home and nothing like how they used to be after 9 hours in the other daycare. Albert and I are som much more relaxed and so relieved that they are in this new place. We're not worried about leaving them there for 9 hours once or twice a week because they clearly love being there!

Albert and I still have the same jobs, but I now work only daytime, usually between 8:00 and 14:30, meaning I can pick up the girls at a normal time every day. It's been a rough summer because I only had about 10 teaching hours per week for almost 7 weeks, and Albert couldn't sell very much in August since Spain shuts down completely all that month - and Spain isn't exactly an easy country to be selling in at the moment....
I have a job interview this afternoon as administrative worker at a school 2 evenings per week. I don't really want to work evenings, but if it's onlt twice a week it's OK - and just getting a foot inside the Helsingør school system would be great! So I'm really hoping I get this job!

Though some parts of living here are still difficult (much more so than we had anticipated before moving up here), we're all still very happy here! It's annoying that our financial situation still sucks, but it's starting to lighten up a bit. Albert of course misses his family loads and I miss my friend Susan and her little boy Luca - Liva and Laia still talk about Luca! - as well as our babysitter Emily! We had hoped to go to Barcelona for a long weekend in October, but for different reasons we probably won't be able to. We love the apartment we live in, our neighbors are wonderful, the girls and I love the area (Albert gets a little bored sometimes, he's a city-man!) and we love seeing my family so often (I think Albert gets a little sick of that sometimes, but I completely understand (as does my family) and we have an agreement that he can say no to coming along anytime! That gives him some breaks every once in a while as well).So all in all things are great, and are starting to look like they will only be getting better in the future! :)