2 YEARS & 9 MONTHS - 16 April 2013

I took Liva to an ear doctor this morning, we had her hearing tested some weeks ago, it turns out her ears have been totally clogged by mucus and she has been half deaf, poor little thing! We had an appointment for 8:00, had been told she would be given total anesthesia but that it would all be over within 15 minutes. I had my doubts... We arrived at the doctor's at 7:50, going there I realized we were 10 minutes early and wondered if they had even opened yet. Well, turns out I'm not used to these Danish working hours, the waiting room was well filled up (and well equipped with coffee and tea!), and they were already busy operating kids. At 8:00 on the dot we were called into the doctor's office, Liva was given full anesthesia and I was told to leave the room. 10 minutes later I was called into another room, she was all done and would be waking up any minute. Sure enough, a few minutes later she woke up again. She cried and was a bit confused, but except for that she was fine. She apparently liked being at that doctor's place, coz when I asked her if she was ready to go home she just said no. I eventually bribed her with ice-cream, otherwise we'd probably still be sitting there.... It wasn't even 9:00 yet, all the shops were still closed. Luckily there's a 7-eleven at the station, so we went there. She had an ice-cream, we went home and had breakfast, then we went shopping and bought balancing bikes for her and Laia. When we came home I assembled her bike, and off she went up and down the street. We went inside for lunch but when I mentioned she had to take a nap she refused - she wanted to go play with her new bike. The weather has been warm and sunny all day, for the first time in months, so I didn't need much convincing. We went outside to play, then went to pick up Laia. Liva was so happy to see everyone at daycare, and all the kids were out playing on the playground, so we stayed there for about 30 minutes before going home. We took the bikes into town, had (another!) ice-cream, then took the train home.
And Liva can hear now. Every time there's a loud noise she starts crying and saying her ears hurt. It's going to take a bit of adjusting, I guess... I wonder how she'll cope with all the noise at daycare tomorrow, she doesn't like noise in the first place, now it'll suddenly be at a volume she's not at all used to. But it's nice she can hear, and I hope we can stop repeating everything we tell her 2 or 3 times. Maybe she'll even start listening to what we tell her?! :)

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2 YEARS & 9 MONTHS - 29 March 2013

Liva and Laia are 2 years and 9 months today and it's amazing how much has happened over the past couple of weeks. They are getting really good at speaking and say the funniest, sweetest things. They have amazing imagination and make up the funniest stories about for example monkeys sitting in their chairs or things their dolls say and do. They can also tell very detailed what they do at daycare, who they play with, who was and wasn't there, etc. And they sing! They sing really well in Danish and Catalan, and can manage a couple of songs in English.
They are getting much better at playing with each other and can spend hours and hours playing with their babies. The weather is getting somewhat warmer, so we take their little cars and go on excursions in the area, look at trees, plants and above all, animals.
Their behavior is getting better, though it's still not good! I recently posted the following on Facebook:

Help!!! Any tips for getting a 2,5-year old to listen? Liva is totally out of control, I don't know what to do! She doesn't listen to anything we say, she bullies her sister, breaks things and does exactly as she pleases. Time-outs don't help, yelling at her makes her laugh (sooo infuriating when she does that!!). Don't tell me to hit/slap her coz I won't do that. Any tips are highly appreciated!!

Here are some of the tips I received:

Praising him alot for all the good things he does even when he hasnt done anything bad, I found it gets really easy to get in a negative cycle...

The "correct" way to do time out is to put her in a spot ( it can be in the hall or where ever.. For 1 min for each year if age.. So she would have to say 2.5 min. If she gets up.. U put her back until she stays.. And the time starts over again. YOU go get her after the 2.5 min.. Explain briefly why she was there and tell her if she behaves like that again she will go back to time out.
It becomes a battle of wills..  it's frustrating but if u keep doing it will work. You can give her a warning when she is doing sonething "bad" .. " if you don't stop you ate goin to timeout" .. Etc..
If she comes out of time out ( after u get her) and does the behavior again.. She goes right bak to timeout.. She gonna try your patience.. But u have to follow through EVERYTIME.. Trust me, I have 3.. Been there.. It will pay off eventually

I've also found that punishing Ben's favorite teddy bear works wonders....weird, huh? Just the threat of the toy being taken away for the night does wonders....hang in there!!! They're just testing you! Show them who's boss! 

when disciplining (however you choose) always crouch down so you are on the same level with them. It reduces the power and fear element, gives you a second for a deep breath, and the child feels heard and respected which improves the outcome.

We've done all of the above, and it actually seems to be working. Another thing we've started doing, which might not be super pedagogical or anything, but works, is tell them that little mice will come nibble at their tummy when they throw themselves hysterically on the floor. We've only been saying it for a few days, and they've already stopped doing it! :) So step by step we're getting there.

They love helping out around the house, and picking up toys is like another game for them. I sometimes find cereal having been put away without me even being around, cupboards being closed, shoes being put away, etc. We don't have to tell them to do it, if they see something out of place and they know where to put it and how, they will do it.
They adore Tatanka and are so good with him. They stroke him, want to feed him, ask him what the matter is when he meows, open the door when he wants to go in or out, and always make sure he's ok.

Liva is a very sensitive girl, she cries if other people or animals are in pain, and if she hears someone crying at daycare or on the street she wants to go to the person to make sure they're ok. Liva loves being in big crowds with people she knows, even if it's family she only sees a few times a year. She will sit on everyone's lap and play with anyone who will play with her.
Laia is the leader as long as she is in a small group or with people she knows well. At daycare she makes up games and roles for people, and since her imagination is so developed, the kids normally go along with what she tells them, coz they know it'll be fun. But as soon as there are people she doesn't know she becomes shy and scared and clings onto the people she knows, while refusing to talk with or even look at the strangers.
They are both very loving girls and give hugs and kisses to the people they love - close family, friends and babysitter. And though they fight a lot they always look after their sister and make sure "the other half" is ok.