• The twins are 1 Year old and what a first year it has been

    September 6, 2012

    I usually don’t write too much about our private life, but the last year has brought such a change to our lives, that I would like to share.

    Birth of Twin Girls and a Huge Change to our Family Life

    On August 3rd 2011, my wife gave birth our twin girls – Alexis and Sophia.  It only seems like they were born yesterday, but it has already been a year.  We recently celebrated their first birthday with cupcakes and more presents than they know what to do with.  What a year this has been and how our lives as a married couple have changed.  Two years ago everything seemed different.  My wife and I would love going for a ride on the motorcycle in the evenings, going out for dinner, hanging out with friends.  We led a very good life with no major complaints.

    Then we received the good news that my wife was pregnant and double the joy, pregnant with twins.  It was during the second tri-mester I felt our lives then started to change.  It was as if we were closing a chapter to a book and flipping the page to a new chapter.  We sold the motorcycle and starting preparing for the arrival of our twin girls.

    Then, finally August 3rd, 2011 our twins arrived, two healthy and vivacious baby girls.  That’s when our lives really started to change.  It was no longer just the two of us, but now it was four.  I have no idea how it is with a single child, but with twins and the fact that my wife started to work again after only 3 1/2 months, you have no choice but to help where you can.  Help means, household, shopping, changing diapers, feeding, washing, …etc. simply everything! Before it was just general stuff here and there as we would divide the household.

    The past year has been amazing and inspirational.  Everyday the kids manage to put a smile on my face.  Remembering how proud we were as parents when one of the children could first turn over on their stomach, sit up, pull themselves up, start to walk or even speak their first words (Papa and then mama ;-) ).   It is amazing to see how quick children learn and the unconditional love the children give you.  Watching them grow and learn has been nothing short of simply amazing.

    I think the toughest part of the first year was not having the grandparents around or having any help from brothers or sisters who have had children already!  It would have been great to have some family close by.  Unfortunately my in-laws live in China and my own parents live in Germany.  Nonetheless we did have a lot of visitors and it was great to see how much joy the twins gave their grandparents.

    My  in-laws came and stayed with us for two months when the babies were born.  It was a tremendous help as so much was new to us, and especially as everything was double.

    In October of last year my sister with my niece then came over for two weeks.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  Now the kids were already three months old and we were slowly getting into the groove of things.  It was around this time, when our girls started to sleep through the night until 6.30 – 7.00 a.m.   My sister was a huge help as she gave us a lot of good advice.  This also meant my wife and I could also go on a date again!  Unfortunately they only stayed two weeks and those two weeks passed by too quickly.

    The children’s first Christmas was spent with my parents in Vancouver, just seeing the sparkle in my parents eyes when they saw the kids was worth it.  They stayed for approx. 6 – 7 weeks and during those weeks we took our girls on their first flight to Hawaii!  10 Days in Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu was just the right medicine for raining Vancouver winter.  We soaked up as much sun as we could and had a wonderful time with parents, wife and kids.

    Then about 2 weeks after my parents left for Germany, my in-laws arrived.  This allowed me to take care of some business-trips as well as allowed my wife and I to attend a meeting in Costa Rica!

    In the middle of March our lives took another turn, as we decided it was time to move to a bigger house, so the house hunt begun. Finding a house wasn’t that difficult, however the owner was not willing to accept an offer subject to the sale of our place.  He had accepted two offers with subjects prior and both subjects fell through.  My wife and I decided to take the risk and put our house for sale.  We basically said if it is meant to be, then we will sell our house quickly and get the house we want.  That said, our house sold within 8 days and we had an accepted offer on the house we wanted.  Wow!  Now all we had to do was coordinate the move!  Easier said than done.

    On May 19th we handed the keys of our house over to the new buyer at 9.00 a.m. and at 12 noon my wife the kids and I were at the airport waiting to board our flight to Hong Kong!  All of our furniture was in storage and we were at that time literally homeless.  We arrived in Hong Kong after a 14 1/2  hour flight and spend the first night in the Sheraton Kowloon!  That was where we had our first family breakfast in a restaurant with the girls.  The look in the girls eyes and the attention they got from the service personnel was amazing.  The next day we left for Guangzhou where the kids woudl see their grandparents again, as well as meet their Great Grand Parents for the first time!

    I then left the family and headed to Germany after a week to attend to business.  Thankfully my wife and twins soon followed and we then spent another two weeks in Germany with my parents and sister before we flew back to Vancouver on June 30th 2012.

    Arriving in Vancouver we still had another 9 days before we would get the keys to our new place.  We had booked an apartment downtown via PremiereSuites (also called Premiere Executive Suites, however there is nothing executive about them and we will certainly never use them again or recommend them to any friend, the service was horrendous).

    Finally on July 8 we took possession of our new house and on July 9th we moved in!  What a change, enough room for the girls to explore and to store all their toys.  Sophia and Alexis seemed to love their new home as much as we do.

    Towards the end of July my wife and I had to make a tough decision.  What should we do with the girls.  Hire another nanny or put them in daycare.  A nanny with twins has to be exceptionally good, as she is dealing with two.  I was very skeptical of putting our girls into a daycare, as this is not very common in Germany.  After a few discussions and viewing a few daycares we finally decided to give a daycare a try.  My wife had found a Chinese/English daycare not too far from the office and after viewing it we realized that this would be a great decision and how right we were.  It has now been another month and girls love their daycare.  The interaction with the other kids is great and it gives us time to take care of our own personal matters and sit down in between and breathe.

    At the beginning of this post I wrote that one chapter had ended and that with the birth of our children the next chapter had begun.  So far this new chapter has been amazing and very inspiring.  Yes having a baby let alone twins is a challenge and a heck of a lot of work, but on the other side, not a day goes by where they don’t make you smile!  There are so many things you can learn from children and they open your eyes to things you had already forgotten or you take for granted.  For myself I think the biggest thing I have learned from my girls is patience and a renewed appreciation for the ordinary.

    A huge help in this past year has been my wife, who has simply been amazing!  I have no idea where she gets her energy from or how she can be so patient with myself, but she is the best wife anyone can ever have!

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