Thursday, March 01, 2012


Lara and Gloria are now walking well, and have learned to run too. We have bought them their first pair of shoes, size 21, and took them for a first walk outside. This month has brought more firsts. The girls have been swimming the first time, they have been to a playground the first time, and they have made their first encounter with salt, which they didn't seem to mind.

Confronted with new information, environments, or people, Lara is generally more reserved than Gloria. Lara will watch from a safe distance for a while before she splashes in the water, stomps on the sand, or pulls on grandma's necklace. Gloria is faster to warm up. On the other hand, Lara falls noticeably less often and if she does, is less likely to hurt herself.

Teeth-wise the girls are still months behind. On the average, I read, babies have their first tooth between 4 and 7 months. Ours had their first tooth in their 12th month. Now at 14 months, they have both 6 front teeth that are half out, and still no molars. They can bite off cookies, but they can't chew.

The most remarkable development this month has been the communication. Lara and Gloria both have learned how to work well with pointing and a single word, "Da", which might mean "lift me up", "put me down", "give me this" or "make this work". Gloria is especially expressive. If she sees as much as a spoonful of vegetables come into her direction, she hits the spoon and sends it flying, then points at the dessert and commands "Da." Lara often comes to me with a scarf and wants me to wrap it around her head.

Most of the time, the girls are playing with each other nicely. They do sometimes steal each other's toys, but they also offer toys to each other. When Gloria cries, Lara tries to give her a pacifier. If that doesn't work, Lara begins to cry too.

Their parents have meanwhile reason to celebrate. After more than a year of fight, the German authorities have finally revised their decision that we're not eligible for child benefits, and now we receive the standard rate. Since we're paying rent for two apartments, one in Germany and one in Sweden, this has come as much of a relief for us.


Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Isn’t it interesting that right out of the chute your two girls have both been very different and yet in many ways the same. That is we have one bold the other reserved, one a budding gourmet, while the other perhaps a future swami and yet for the most part they each walk the same walk and talk the same talk. It’s also nice to hear you all went swimming as there’s an old adage that a family that swims together are more likely to stay afloat; or was that one of Archimedes laws of buoyancy :-) Anyway, horrible puns aside, the expanded house of the Backreactors seems to be doing well and that’s very good to observe.

“Perhaps it will seem to you that the sunshine is brighter and that everything has a new charm. At least, I believe this is always the result of a deep love, and it is a beautiful thing. And I believe people who think love prevents one from thinking clearly are wrong; for then one thinks very clearly and is more active than before. And love is something eternal--the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and it was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and in that way, one is more fit for one's work.”

- Vincent van Gogh



Plato said...

Hi Bee,

Of course it is exciting to see the children become "real people." Like the pic of the shoes lined up.:)

I have three grown "real people."

As well, one young twin set close to your twins age. It makes it even more special to see the feelings and expressions you are having with your own. What makes it exciting for us to witness the innocence that we had been part of and still are a part of. It really is a beautiful thing to watch as parents.


Alyssa said...

It must be so amazing watching them interact with each other. That is way too cute about Lara giving Gloria the pacifier to calm her down.

Giotis said...

"After more than a year of fight, the German authorities have finally revised their decision that we're not eligible for child benefits, and now we receive the standard rate."

Did you find a way the German authorities to revise their decisions?

Could you tell us the secret? Maybe we could persuade them to revise some of the austerity measures they have imposed to us.

Bee said...

Sorry, we're only dealing with peanuts... We convinced them with a big pile of collected diaper receipts, if that is of any use ;o)

Arun said...

If one of your toddlers could sell me the Gambini and Pullin book, I think the other could sell me the Brooklyn Bridge! :)

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

And interesting way to have things made obvious to a bureaucracy; then again perhaps the diapers contents might have expressed your feelings on the matter a little clearer.



Phillip Helbig said...

"Could you tell us the secret? Maybe we could persuade them to revise some of the austerity measures they have imposed to us. "

Just to be clear, the austerity measures were agreed to by a democratically elected government in Greece. If you say that there is no real democracy in Greece because of corruption, then that it is a problem, but it is a Greek problem. Either agree to the austerity measures and take the money or reject both. You can't have your cake and eat it to. If you want money from the taxpayers from the rest of Europe, you have to accept their demands. I'm not saying the demands are necessarily the best solution, but if you don't want them, don't take them---and don't take the money either.

Yes, there is some injustice in the way the austerity measures are implemented in practice and, who would have thought otherwise, those with enough money to fakilaki themselves out of responsibilty get off the hook and the burden is carried by people who are less well off. On the other hand, many of these same people were also part of the same system---leaving off one tile on the roof for decades so that the house is not officially built and hence no tax has to be paid on it.

And let's not forget that Greece was only able to join the common currency in the first place because of fraud.

Don Foster said...

That's great, fun hearing of the progress. I suppose with their changes, Mom and Dad are changing too. Love the shoe photo.

uair01 said...

Totally unrelated but I could not resist:

GMP said...

Beautiful pics! Lara looks like Stefan, Gloria more like you...

Arun said...

For some reason, on the iPad, the last two pictures appear rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the text.

JimV said...

I am not a huge fan of babies, preferring older children, but I must admit, a picture of a smiling baby is very nice to see.