Monday 31/7 to Sunday 24/9
Happy Birthday, munchkins!

We (all) finally made it through the dreaded "first year with twins!" Mom made some special cakes with a yummy egg white frosting. But mom forgot that babies shouldn't have uncooked egg whites�..spent the rest of the evening cleaning up baby throw-up and administering antihistamine to get rid of the allergy-rashes�.. Generally, the babies were unimpressed with the whole celebration.

Every year, it's the same story.
Will you do something different for our second birthday?

We, on the other hand, felt a great sense of accomplishment and achievement. What a year it's been. A big thanks to all our friends and family for their help and support.

We've discovered that babies are a lot like kittens. If they are bored, just throw them a stack of newspapers and they pounce at it, ripping it to shreds. And they will bat at anything that hangs down-string, cables, plants, hanging clothes, etc. They come back from time to time for a quick purring cuddle, and then BANG! something catches their attention and they're off! I swear, if they had tails, they'd chase them!

Theo's grown so much lately and boy can he move around! He still "scoots" on his bottom (the Brits call this "bum shuffling"), but he does it with the right foot flat on the ground, so he's half walking and half scooting. He looks like a gorilla. Madeline scoots well now too, but she pulls herself with her hands and can't go quite as fast. So when they race for a toy across the room, Theo always wins-you'd think---but actually he gets distracted somewhere along the way, so it's Madeline's slower determination that wins! We call her "bulldozer" because when she wants something at the other end of the room, she goes in a straight line- going straight through piles of toys. Sometimes we hook a string of bells to her back and she'll just drag it along with her.

The pediatrician says Theo will skip the crawling stage and go straight to walking.

Theo's current pastimes include eating bath sponges, raising his hands above his head when I say "yeah!", throwing things downstairs through the stair banister, putting things on Madeline's head, poking Madeline in the eye, and putting stuff in his parent's mouth. In fact, he finds the whole face fascinating and loves to stick fingers in any orifice he can.

Theo's current favorite toy includes: anything that Madeline's got. He usually just rips it out of her hand. She's a real sport, bless her, and simply looks for something else to play with.

And he has several new teeth - That makes the four top front ones, three front bottom ones and a few baby molars in the top back.

We are currently in the process of getting rid of his pacifier (except for naptime and bedtime) and he's taking it like a real sport! We keep him distracted and he is doing pretty good. He's a good finger food eater and has recently discovered orange wedges. He puts the whole thing in his mouth and them magically, 3 minutes later, out pops the skin, completely sucked dry!

Besides that, the whole eating ceremony is a bit of an ordeal with Theo. He flat out refuses to be spoon fed unless he is given a toy to play with while eating. Not just any toy! We pass him a toy for his inspection, and if, ONLY if the said toy is deemed acceptable, will that mouth open.

He had his first try at a rocking horse and thought it was good fun.

He held on tight!

Madeline has a new toy that she loves-a small piano keyboard. And the really neat thing is that you can flip a switch to have the piano change to dog barks, cat meows or bird tweets. She has another one like it with pictures of objects like and airplane, a boy, numbers, etc. When you hit the airplane button, obviously, it says "this is the plane." Big Bad DJ Mad likes to make rap music by repeatedly hitting the same button to get "th-th-th-this-this is-this is- this is the p-p-p-p-p-p plane-th-th-this is th-th-th-th plane." She's so cool. Madeline also loves to bang her xylophone.

She seems to like music, and will sway back and forth to the melody while holding her musical toys. I hooked a few toys in their bed to keep them occupied in the wee hours. Madeline likes the one with bells, but she has missed the point-she was so happy to see that I had hung "room service" bells in her bed! How convenient, thanks mom. So needless to say, I get "summoned" by the bell each morning. Her favorite game is to pull her socks off. I put them on, she pulls them off and laughs. I put them on, she pulls them off and laughs. I put them on, she pulls them off and laughs. Get it?

Madeline Jagger
We are fairly sure that we have had our first words: "toe" when pointing at her big toe, "ba ba" when she waves goodbye, and the French "nez" (pronounced "nay") when she sticks her fingers up your nostrils. Also, I taught her that every time she points to my nose, I say "nose." Her rendition of this is to give me a stern and serious look, point to me and say "NO!!" I just makes me shake my head and laugh imagining her really saying that when she's 2. She has also mastered "uh oh," which gives us a small glimmer of mishaps and spilled milk to come.
Her favorite pose is to purse her lips like Mick Jagger and howl like a coyote saying "oowww."

The mamies say they have to wear berets
- They're half French after all -

We were thrilled to get the opportunity to go to Luxembourg for our good friends Philippe and Anne-Marie's wedding.

It was our first time without the babies, and man was that nice! We could stay at a restaurant for as long as we wanted, not watching the clock to get home on time for the babysitter, and not worrying about having to get up early the next day. The kids stayed home with our imported expert babysitters, grandma (mamie) and Aunt Josette (mamie's sister).

They did a top class job and we can't wait to use their services again! But we think they need to recharge their batteries first. Upon our return, an exasperated Josette declared

"Elizabeth, I don't know how you do it."

The wedding was elegant and the reception dinner was delicious and shared in excellent company.

Otherwise, things are normal here:

The babies enjoy walks in the pram,

going grocery shopping with mom,

getting into everything,

and keeping Sarah on her toes!

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