3 YEARS - 26 July 2013

Having twins is amazing! :) They have so much fun together now, and it's making life so much easier for Albert and me, and giving us a lot of good laughs!
The weather has been brilliant in Denmark the past couple of weeks, I bought a little pool for Liva and Laia, they can spend hours playing there. I sit on a chair with a magazine (not a book, nothing too gripping) and watch them play. Every now and then they'll yell "Look at me, look what I can do!", I look for a while and clap my hands in utter amazement (sometimes I really am amazed!!), and after a while they play again.
Our apartment is organized so the kitchen and living room is one open space. Lately while I'm in the kitchen cooking Liva & Laia play in the living room with their dolls. Their newest thing is bringing all their playfood to the ottoman in the middle of the room and having dinner with their babies, then putting their babies to bed, either on the couch or in the strollers. I help them dress and undress the babies, settle their twin-disputes, and look when they ask me to look at what they can do. But most of the time I cook, clean the kitchen and organize things.

Sometimes I do feel bad and wonder if I should spend more time actually playing with them, but I think (or at least I have told myself) that they have much more fun playing with each other. And of course I do play with them! We roll around on the couch tickling each other, when Albert comes home he plays hide-and-seek with them, then tickles them and throws them in the air, spins them around, plays airplane and whatever else. In the evening before going upstairs we all sit in the couch and read stories together, then we all 4 go upstairs together and Albert and I both sing to Liva and Laia, cuddle and kiss them, and make sure they have a good end to the day.

3 YEARS - 13 July 2013

This post is not actually from me, it's something I read via facebook a while ago, and it touched me deeply! Whoever wrote this hit it spot-on, and I just wanted to share it.

Dear Mom,

I've seen you around. I've seen you screaming at your kids in public, I've seen you ignoring them at the playground, I've seen you unshowered and wearing last night's pajama pants at preschool drop-off. I've seen you begging your children, bribing them, threatening them. I've seen you shouting back and forth with your husband, with your mom, with the police officer at the crosswalk.

I've seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty and occasionally swearing audibly when you bang a knee. I've seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic 4-year-old. I've seen you wiping your kids' boogers with your bare palm, and then smearing them on the back of your jeans. I've seen you carry your toddler flopped over the crook of your arm while chasing a runaway ball.

I've also seen you gritting your teeth while your kid screamed at you for making him practice piano, or soccer, or basket weaving or whatever it was. I've seen you close your eyes and breathe slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk. I've seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off your best designer purse. I've seen you pacing in front of the house.

I've seen you at the hospital waiting room. I've seen you at the pharmacy counter. I've seen you looking tired and frightened.

I've seen a lot of you, actually.

I see you every single day.

I don't know if you planned to be a parent or not. If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into the world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly. I don't know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined "motherly love" would feel like for your child. I don't know if you struggled with infertility, or with pregnancy loss, or with a traumatic birth. I don't know if you created your child with your body, or created your family by welcoming your child into it.

But I know a lot about you.

I know that you didn't get everything that you wanted. I know that you got a wealth of things you never knew you wanted until they were there in front of you. I know that you don't believe that you're doing your best, that you think you can do better. I know you are doing better than you think.

I know that when you look at your child, your children, you see yourself. And I know that you don't, that you see a stranger who can't understand why the small details of childhood that were so important to you are a bother to this small person who resembles you.

I know that you want to throw a lamp at your teenager's head sometimes. I know you want to toss your 3-year-old out the window once in a while.

I know that some nights, once it's finally quiet, you curl up in bed and cry. I know that sometimes, you don't, even though you wanted to.

I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever.

But it never does. The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges. Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights. And every day you do what you need to do.

You take care of things, because that's your job. You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner.

You drop everything you're doing to moderate an argument over whose turn it is to use a specifically colored marker, or to kiss a boo-boo, or to have a conversation about what kind of lipstick Pinocchio's Mommy wears.

I know that you have tickle fights in blanket forts, and that you have the words to at least eight different picture books memorized. I've heard that you dance like a wild woman when it's just you and them. That you have no shame about farting or belching in their presence, that you make up goofy songs about peas and potatoes and cheese.

I know that an hour past bedtime, you drop what you're doing and trim the fingernail that your 3-year-old insists is keeping her up. I know that you stop cleaning dishes because your kids insist you need to join their tea party. I know you fed your kids PB&J for four days straight when you had the flu. I know that you eat leftover crusts over the sink while your kids watch "Sponge Bob."

I know you didn't expect most of this. I know you didn't anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired or being the mom you've turned out to be.

You thought you had it figured out. Or you were blind and terrified. You hired the perfect nanny. Or you quit your job and learned to assemble flat-packed baby furniture. You get confused by the conflict of feeling like nothing has changed since you were free and unfettered by children, and looking back on the choices you made as though an impostor was wearing your skin.

You're not a perfect mom. No matter how you try, no matter what you do. You will never be a perfect mom.

And maybe that haunts you. Or maybe you've made peace with it. Or maybe it was never a problem to begin with.

No matter how much you do, there is always more. No matter how little you do, when the day is over, your children are still loved. They still smile at you, believing you have magical powers to fix almost anything. No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in playgroup, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy, and wise as could possibly be hoped.

There's an old Yiddish saying: "There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it."

Unfortunately, there are no perfect parents. Your kids will grow up determined to be different than you. They will grow up certain that they won't make their kids take piano lessons, or they'll be more lenient, or more strict, or have more kids, or have fewer, or have none at all.

No matter how far from perfect you are, you are better than you think.

Someday your kids will be running around like crazy people at synagogue and concuss themselves on a hand rail, and somebody will still walk up to you and tell you what a beautiful family you have. You'll be at the park and your kids will be covered in mud and jam up to the elbows, smearing your car with sugary cement, and a pregnant lady will stop and smile at you wistfully.

No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt this one thing: You are not perfect.

And that's good. Because really, neither is your child. And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience. Nobody knows what your child's squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying better than you do.

And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for
Best Mom in the World.

Congratulations, Best Mom in the World. You're not perfect.
You are as good as anybody can get.


3 YEARS - 11 July 2013

3 is so much better than 2!! It is amazing how much has happened with Liva and Laia over the past months. I assume it also has a lot to do with having moved from "vuggestue" to "børnehave", now they're suddenly the smallest kids among 3-5 year-olds - a lot to live up to when you want to be big girls.
They play really well together, especially with their little kitchen, and the babies and strollers they were given for their birthday. They can spend hours pretending their baby has pooped and wiping her bum, putting them in the stroller and going pretend-shopping or on pretend-vacation. When they go on vacation they give us hugs and kisses goodbye, walk slowly out of the living room while waving all the way, then come running back into the living room after 3 seconds wanting hugs and kisses; they've just come home after a long vacation, we should be happy to see them. Albert and I love this game, hugs and kisses are always great! (And we get to sit on the couch and do nothing except get and give hugs and kisses - perfect!).
They are also much better behaved, and much easier to reason with. They are starting to understand why they shouldn't do things, or why we get angry, annoyed, sad, irritated or whatever in certain situations. Of course they still throw tantrums and tease each other, and of course we are still about to explode at times, but it is getting better, and we can feel it. Every day a bit more.
I just wish Liva and Laia would learn to sleep in the mornings... They wake up somewhere between 5:30 - 6:00. It makes no difference if they don't nap, are put to bed later, the room is dark, whatever. If they don't nap they get cranky and impossible by 17:00, and the evening gets really long. If they are put to bed later they are just cranky all morning the following day, until they finally get to take their nap. We know it's not a 1-day thing, so we have tried for weeks to put them to bed later, hoping they'd sleep a bit longer in the morning. All we got were 2 cranky girls. So they still go to bed around 19:00, and are up and ready for the day before 6:00. Every day.... But at least they are usually rested and in a good mood, and Albert and I have the evenings to rest. We do sometimes feel like chicken when we collapse in bed by 22:00, but hey, that's been a long day for us... We'll probably miss it when they're teenagers, refusing to get out of bed in the mornings! :)

3 YEARS!! - 3 July 2013

Liva and Laia are 3 years old! No more terrible twos... Now for the terrible threes??
Well, we had a LOVELY birthday for them. It started Friday at daycare already, Liva and Laia are always so excited when it's somebody else's birthday at daycare, they come home and explain how they sang songs and ate birthday bread. So I felt really bad about them having their birthday on a Saturday and missing out on such an important event for them. The daycare is great, and when I asked if they could celebrate their birthday on Friday 28 June, 1 day before the actual day, there was of course no problem. Last week we went to a big department store in Hillerød, about 30 minutes away, and Liva and Laia got to choose their own plates, cups and napkins to bring to daycare. They were so proud! Since Iaia (grandma, Albert's mom) arrived from Barcelona Thursday evening, I had planned my Friday so I started work later and could let the girls be at home with her a bit longer. We then went to the daycare, where everybody wished them a happy birthday. They had a lovely day, I was told. Iaia and I picked them up early in the afternoon, and had a nice afternoon the four of us together. Saturday morning they got their presents from Albert and me, and from Iaia. I spent all morning baking bread and cakes, while Albert prepared a vegetable bread (a very delicious Catalan food-thing!) and the girls played with Iaia and their new presents.
Liva had asked for a purple cake with strawberries, Laia wanted a blue cake with blueberries. Their wish is my command... :)

After their nap, the guests came. Family and friends. They all brought nice presents and Liva and Laia were so happy! We ate the cakes, went for a stroll down to the beach, came home and had Albert's vegetable bread, then the guests all left again. A few minutes later our neighbor with 2 twin girls and a boy came by, they stayed for about 45 minutes. Liva and Laia couldn't have had a better day. They played until about 20:00 before we put them to bed, happy and exhausted. All in all a perfect day, everybody was happy and Liva and Laia are now 3 years old. What a milestone!