2 YEARS & 5 MONTHS - 30 Nov. 2012

My life is falling into place! Yesterday I went to sign the contract at the language school I'll be working at. It seems that if things go well, I will be full-time employed by the summer, and have loads more responsibility in a couple of years. The job sounds amazing, and I am so looking forward to starting there.
I will continue with some of my students for the other language school where I have been working since we moved to Denmark, at least for a while. Just this week, 3 of my students have told me I'm "addictive". Two students, ladies around my mom's age, are finishing next week, they have both said they are so sad at the thought of not seeing me again, I have become like a part of the family. I also really like them, and hope we will somehow see each other again. When you spend 4-5 hours with a person every week and talk about children, work, traveling, hobbies etc, I guess some special bond somehow develops. The other student is a young girl, mid-twenties I think, who has asked that we do 2 hours every class instead of 2,5, because she doesn't want to finish the classes with me to quickly - the students normally get 30 hours in total. Those were nice compliments, and made me feel good! :)
And finally, I've started jogging again! I've so far only been yesterday and today, but I feel super motivated and have planned my working schedule so I can go jogging 2-3 mornings a week. When I stopped back in the summer, I could only just barely run the entire route I do, the first many weeks I interchanged between jogging and walking. I had expected to do some walking now, after not having jogged for months, but to my huge surprise I can run the whole route. It's only about 2,5, maybe 3 kilometers, through the forest so very uneven terrain. It feels great to have started up again, I hope I can keep it up, and that soon I can make my route a bit longer. Finally life in Denmark is what we had hoped it would be! :)

2 YEARS & 5 MONTHS - 29 Nov. 2012

Liva and Laia are (wait, let me count....) 29 months today (I get so confused with these months, I don't understand why people still count in months after 2 years). Though a lot has happened over the past month, it's hard to say exactly what has changed. They of course get better and better at everything - they talk more, understand more, run faster, keep their balance better, eat nicer, hold things more safely, etc. - and many things are easier - we don't worry as much about the safety gates at the stairs, because they can get up and down on their own, they dress themselves and OOHH - BIG NEWS: We're done with diapers!!! More or less.... They don't wear diapers during the day anymore, also not at daycare. They wear them when they nap and when they sleep at night. They also ask for diapers when they have to poop, for some reason they do not want to do that on the potty or the toilet. We put on a diaper, 2 minutes later they come and tell us they have pooped. Very strange.... But progress!! :) They still have accidents, but not very often - Liva hardly ever, Laia about once a day, she just forgets to go to the toilet when she's playing and having fun, and does it in her pants instead. We're getting there, though, and that's the most important part!
They play together and on their own much more, just last night they were in their room playing with their "mobiles". Laia was pretending to be having a conversation with Mormor, Liva was watching her and cracking up at all the silly things she was "telling" Mormor. A few minutes later they ran into their bedroom and jumped into the other's bed. Laia lay in Liva's bed while Liva was being silly in Laia's bed and Laia was laughing like crazy. They spontaneously do silly things, and very often make Albert and me laugh out loud! Little clowns! :)
Unfortunately Liva has started waking up at 4:45 on the dot every morning. Besides getting up 2-3 times during the night, trying to sneak into our bed (I now always take the struggle with her and put her back in her own bed, despite the screaming and hysteria!), she is now up at this ungodly hour. I go to bed around 22:00 every night but am soooooo tired.....
But we can feel that things are getting easier, and though they are still clearly in their terrible twos, they are lovely, sweet, polite, happy girls!

2 YEARS & 4 MONTHS - 27 Nov. 2012

YESSS!!!!! I have a job!! Only part-time, but it's a start! I will be working as course director, marketing responsible and administrative manager for a small language school in Copenhagen. It's exactly the kind of job I was hoping for! I will be working partly from home, partly in the office. I will combine it with teaching, though I haven't heard back from the school I teach for now, I assume they will let me continue there with approx. 10 hours a week. This means I'll be working about 25 hours a week, my salary will be ok (we won't become millionaires anytime soon, but we'll live happily, especially with Albert's new job as well), and I will still have plenty of time for Liva and Laia.
Albert started his new job yesterday, and it seems good. It has completely changed our routines, and I think it'll take a while to find a new routine. Albert used to drop Liva & Laia off at daycare on his way to work, they'd leave here around 7:45 every morning. I planned my classes so that I always had time to clean the apartment Monday morning before starting work. I picked up the girls 3 days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays I worked in Copenhagen and Albert would pick them up. Now I have to drop off Liva and Laia in the morning since Albert leaves before 7:00, some days I still have to go to Copenhagen, other days I have to go home to teach (and work from next week). Albert will be getting home around 18:30 every day (except Mondays and Wednesdays when he has Danish classes and doesn't get back until 20:15), so I also have to pick up the girls every day. I used to message Albert if we needed anything, and he'd buy it on his way home since he had the car. Now I have to do any shopping necessary since I have the car and more time than him. So these first 2 days have been completely different from the past 7 months! But in a good way! We're both very happy about the new situation, and are looking forward to seeing what it'll bring!
I am looking for a cleaning lady here in Elsinore, coz I won't have time to do the cleaning anymore, and as little as we're going to be able to be together as a family from now on, I don't want to waste any time at the weekend cleaning! I am also trying to plan my work and classes so I can start jogging again...... I had started a few weeks after moving here and had gotten a really good rhythm going. But when my mother-in-law was her for a month, I didn't go jogging at all and lost my rhythm. After she left I started up again, but never really got into it, and stopped after 1-2 weeks. Then I couldn't get it to fit time wise, or had other excuses. For the past couple of weeks I have really wanted to start again, but only have time at night after Liva & Laia are asleep - I am just too lazy to go jogging then! But it seems that with this new job I could plan 2-3 mornings a week where I can get out for a short jog after dropping off Liva and Laia. I am sooo excited about the next couple of weeks! And Christmas is just around the corner, too! :) Once again, Life's good! :)

2 YEARS & 4 MONTHS - 21 Nov. 2012

I'm SO sick of having sick children! It just seems it's never ending. We had both Liva and Laia in our bed all night, Laia was crying saying her ear and throat hurt, and she was boiling hot. Liva was coughing and crying because her throat hurt when she coughed. I actually wanted to blame it all on moving to cold Denmark, but then I remembered that in Barcelona they were also constantly sick from about November until about March. I guess it's just something we have to live with until they are a bit older and their immune systems are a bit stronger.
Well, we soon realized there was no way we could drop Liva & Laia off at daycare today, "luckily" Albert had an argument with his (now X) boss yesterday and was told that if there were going to be bad feelings he might as well leave the workplace yesterday and not come back. So he did.... He's home this week, I cancelled my 2 classes today and called the doctor. We got an appointment for 12:10, there we were told that Laia has a rash in her ear which is supposedly very typical for babies and toddlers, and can be quite painful. Liva is coughing because she has a horrible cold and all the snot ends up in her airways. There are no infections in their throat, but with the coughing and colds it's only normal that the throat hurts as well. We also mentioned to the doctor that Laia has been complaining about a pain in her vagina for about a  month, but there's nothing unusual to see and so we haven't been taking her very seriously. The doctor asked if we had seen any little worms in her diaper. At first I was shocked - how could she possibly think that our daughters could have worms? There's no way they have worms, we take care of our girls, clean them well, bathe them every 2 days, of course they don't have worms! Not my children! She asked us to describe the symptoms, then asked if there had been a case of worms at daycare. That made me remember a sign I noticed about 2 months ago in the daycare, something about there being worms and what to do to prevent or cure it. Oh my god, my children DO have worms..... The doctor prescribed a cure and told us to check their poop next time - they are just very thin worms, look almost like little threads. Yup, Laia definitely has worms, I've seen it with my own eyes. I still can't believe it, but the doctor assured us that it has nothing to do with how we take care of them or with lack of hygiene, it is apparently super common among toddlers, especially when they go to daycare because it's extremely contagious. So Laia got some medicine for her ears, Liva got some cough medicine, and they are both put on a worm-cure. It's been a productive medical day....
We spent the afternoon at home, and again we noticed that things are getting easier. Liva and Laia can spend more and more time on their own doing puzzles or playing with pearls. While Albert prepared dinner I tidied up the apartment. Liva played with pearls while Laia created a necklace. Then they did some puzzles until it was time to eat. They are such sweet girls, even when they are not feeling well!

Liva in deep concentration, creating pearl-masterpieces

I still haven't gotten an offer from the job yesterday, she is having computer problems and will need a few days before she can get all the information to me. Oh well, I'll just keep crossing my fingers.

2 YEARS & 4 MONTHS - 20 Nov. 2012

Life's good!! :) Though Liva and Laia are still hard work, we're also really starting to notice how things are getting easier. Saturday morning I went to my brother's house with the girls, they had loads of fun playing with their cousins and the neighbor kids, I actually had time to sit and drink a coffee and chat with my sister-in-law. Sunday we spent the afternoon outside playing, Albert chopped wood and did some work in the shed while the girls played in the street with their cars, we drew with chalk on the street, and they played with their dolls.
We're trying to kill this habit of theirs of coming into our bed at night, it's more or less working, but it does mean that we (mainly I since Albert hears NOTHING at night) get up anywhere between 5 and 10 times a night; I am sooooo tired! Last night I gave up and let Liva crawl into my bed when she came in for the 3rd time in 30 minutes. I regretted it less than an hour later, she was tossing and turning, singing, kicking, coughing and making noises - even while she was sleeping... I had no sleep last night and can feel it today.
But to make up for all the negative and difficult things lately, I had a job interview today and I think it went well. It's for a part-time administrative position at a small language school, the owner is pregnant with twin girls due in January, and need someone to help her run the place while she is on maternity leave and afterwards. She will send me details of hours, work and pay tomorrow, then I have to decide whether it's something I could be interested in. The job sounds great and it's exactly what I would love to do, but of course it also depends on what she is willing to pay for my services! :) So, fingers crossed!
Albert has unexpectedly finished his horrible job early and now has a few days off before starting his new job on Monday. So it looks like next week will bring on a lot of positive changes in our little home!

2 YEARS & 4 MONTHS - 12 Nov. 2012

We are REALLY familiar with the Danish healthcare system now... It started Saturday noon, we dropped Liva and Laia off at my parent's house for an afternoon off to go clothes shopping. Liva had been complaining about stomach pains for a few days, and also cried when we left my parent's - very strange, they normally never do that. We decided to take the chance anyways, and drove to a mall. There we looked at clothes, had lunch, looked at more clothes and bought a bit as well. After about 2,5 hours in total, we decided to get in the car and go to another place. As we were driving out of the parking garage my mom called. Liva had been crying for almost an hour and they didn't know what to do anymore. We called the emergency doctor, they told us to go to the hospital and have her checked. This time we did wait for hours and hours, she had a quick check-up shortly after we arrived, but I guess they decided Liva wasn't very urgent and we waited for hours - locked in a room since she might be contagious and they couldn't have her running around the hospital. After some blood tests and other tests (I won't go into details, considering it was her stomach I'm sure you can imagine for yourself), we were sent home again, reassured that she was fine.

Liva had fun, here she's looking at the Hans Christian Andersen poster while singing and clapping

It was a loooong evening......

Laia spent the night at my parent's house, we went home and all pretty much collapsed. A waste of a Saturday night, but nice to know that Liva was OK!
Sunday we went to pick up Laia and had a relaxing day at home.

Monday morning we packed the car and once a again drove to a hospital, this time the main hospital in Copenhagen. As I've mentioned before, Liva & Laia were born with tiny deformations by their ears. It's nothing bad at all, but we don't want them being teased when they are bigger, and wanted them removed.

Liva's little "antenna" - she only had it on one ear

Laia's little bumps - she had them on both ears
We arrived at the hospital Monday at 10:00 and spent most of the morning talking to doctors and nurses, were given loads of information and asked a lot of questions. There was free lunch for the girls, a huge play area when we weren't talking to experts, and even an artistic room with staff where they could paint, play with pearls and other fun stuff. It was very hard to get them to nap, but we managed! All afternoon we just played at the hospital, Liva and Laia had dinner and eventually we put them to bed. Albert had bought Pizza for him and me, there was a kitchen where we could cook and a place for us to sit and eat. We had brought books and had wifi, so we were fine. We went to sleep quite early, we were tired and knew that Tuesday would be a long day.

At 5:45 Tuesday morning a nurse came in, Laia had to drink because it would be her last chance before the operation. They put some numbing cream on her hands for the needles later, then we were free to do what we wanted until 8:00. Again, Liva and Laia had fun playing....

Copenhagen sunrise seen from the hospital

Playing before the operation

Playing before the operation

Around 7:45 the doctor came and gave Laia some medicine which drugged her. Though it was funny to see her acting all drunk - laughing at her fingers, giggling over her pacifier and unable to stand normally - it was also a bit freaky... Around 8:00 her and Albert went down to the OP, here Laia was given full anesthetic and slept after a few seconds. Albert was sent back upstairs and we had about an hour with Liva before she went through the same process - though the medicine she was given to drug her didn't have the same effect on her at all. It actually hardly had any effect at all.... I went down with Liva, she was given full anesthetic as well, but took a bit longer to fall asleep. Typical Liva, she closed her eyes and just as the doctor said "There she goes, now she's sleeping" she opened her eyes again. Liva WILL NOT sleep, and no anesthetic is going to get her! Eventually it did, though, and I was told I could go straight up to see Laia, she was waking up in another room. Albert was already with her, and the hour after they woke up was the hardest part of the entire stay. They were affected by the anesthetic but awake, their body wasn't reacting properly, and they were just hysterical! Laia wanted to be with dad, when the doctors were sure she was OK and didn't have any side effects from the anesthetic or the operation, they were told they could go back up to the room. I was told to wait, Liva was on her way up to the waking-up room. We went through some pretty rough hours of hysteria, but food always does the trick for both of them, and pretty soon they were both happily eating.

Laia just after the operation, in the waking-up room

A tired and confused Laia eating after an hour of hysteria

Liva eating after the operation

This is almost 1 week ago, they still have a small band aid on their ear which we can take off this week. We are happy to have those little things removed, and we are relieved and thankful that everything went so smoothly. After waiting for 1,5 years in Barcelona, we had it done in Denmark after just 3 months in total. Thank you Danish health care system! I do hope we don't have to see the inside of a hospital anytime soon again, though.....