Monday 25/9 to Sunday 5/11: Spain, no pain!

We took a well needed week's vacation to Spain! Staying at hotels with the babies is always such a hassle-calling room service at 5 AM for hot water to make a bottle (and being charged $1 every time!), being stuck in the room during naptime, sharing a room with 2 cribs and 2 noisy babies, having to run around looking for a microwave to heat some baby food�� So this time around we decided to rent a house in the south of Spain, near Marbella. What an excellent idea! The house was beautiful, with a big swimming pool, indoor courtyard with fountains, fully stocked kitchen, jacuzzi in the bathroom and on the terrace�. aaahhhh.

Spanish Villa

Hello liottle fish!
Theo kept bothering the fish by throwing cutlery into their pond

Madeline loved the jacuzzi (not heated, of course). She tried to catch the bubbles
Mommy and Theo snuggle Yellow and white stripped sausage
After a swim

Now we are back in London with our batteries fully recharged.
Here's the latest�..

Madeline is really practicing talking. She mumbles to herself all day like a drunken bag lady. She has recently discovered her tongue and likes the letter "L." She has 2 forms of communication. The first is a serious tone. With her brow frowed and eyes looking very concerned, she will state "blahdl", or 'lobuldahl." The other way she talks is with declarations, which remind us of karate commands-"hoy-cho!" or kamakaze pilots "pltoytoy!" or like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes who declares "twanda!"

She is still scooting on her bottom, and we are still not tired of attaching things to her back to watch her drag them across the room.

Madeline dragging her tail
Lady in red Lady in Blue

The front of her hair has gotten pretty long, so finally mom gets to put on cute barrettes and bows! (which Theo loves to pull out along with a clump of her hair.)

We call her "Judge Madeline," because she loves to point her finger and scold "NO!" She will sit in the stroller with her finger pointed, just repeating "No! No!" at anything and everyone. When Theo throws his cup from the high chair, Madeline is there to reprimand him-"NO!" And she is fair, too - when she drops her cup from the high chair, she scolds herself "NO!"

Madeline says "buh" for book. She has a small book with colors and examples in it, like "yellow is for sun, green is for frog." She carries that book with her everywhere and throws it into your lap saying "Buh" in hopes you'll read it to her. She is stunned when I recite the content without opening the book. Another hot book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

Madeline slides Theo on the swings
Looking serious

We just introduced both of them to slides. Madeline was unsure at first, but after a few times, she just loves it! She scoots up to the edge and pushes herself off. Its amazing to watch her face as she decides "should I do it? OK, now, um, oh, GO!"

Monkey with a walking stick

He still LOVES opening and closing doors. He adores the act of closing a door, but then cries out in frustration because he's locked out (or in). And we can't get in to rescue him because he doesn't understand that he's blocking the door! We tried putting a towel over the doors so they don't close all the way, but that just makes him soooooooooo mad.

Theo especially enjoys opening and closing the dryer door. And just yesterday he discovered that he can throw toys into the dryer and they disappear! He keeps hobbling back an forth from the toy basket to the dryer, each time carefully choosing the toy to be dropped into the dryer, racing across the room and "plop!" drops it in. Then he races back to the toy basket for another..�

Theo liked it, but is much more interested in other things, especially hide-and-seek. He just giggles and giggles when we hide behind the couch and he comes to get us. He especially likes to be chased. He still scoots, but its really fast because he has one leg bent at the knee with his foot flat on the ground. When he really gets going, the other leg doesn't even touch the ground, it swings (hard to describe). He usually gets around with the aid of his favorite walking stick-a wooden spoon!

The dryer: Is it still in there?
Is it still in there?
Peek-a-Boo in the Tub
Peek-a-Boo in the tub

Theo started trying to pull himself up from sitting about 2 weeks ago. His arms are getting strong and he can pull up to kneeling. He practices in the bathtub.

In the bathtub, he also likes to bend forward in the water and blow bubbles. Sometimes he bends too far and gets a face full of bubbles!

He also plays peek-a-boo with his hands covering his eyes. Actually, he aims to cover his eyes, but sometimes he misses and covers an ear, his forehead, etc. Unfortunately, he doesn't know his own strength and often smacks himself in the face-even knocking himself off balance! And when you cheer "YEAH!" he will lift his hands in the air.

Daddy was the honored recipient of Theo's first kiss - and a wet one at that!

Auntie Rachel sent us some awesome CDs with children's songs. The babies just love it! They both dance to the music-Madeline sways gently back and forth, while Theo brings his arms up to a jogger's stance and twists frantically at the waist. While the music is playing, he'll try to do another activity, like stacking blocks. But the rhythm overtakes him and he can't control the twisting, so the blocks fly across the room. Thanks Rachel!

They are both getting pretty good with finger foods. Madeline loves quiche and they both like those imitation crab stick things. Theo is more of a challenge as he often refuses to eat and just screams. Mom decided enough was enough and "if you won't eat, OK, don't eat." He didn't eat anything for breakfast or lunch, so by dinner, he submitted and ate tons! But it's still touch and go with him, so I think some hunger strikes are coming our way� If he's hungry, he'll eat, right?

I have found one magic trick. They both like marmite. Weird, huh? One day, neither of them would eat, so in pure frustration, I put just a smear of marmite on some chicken and they gobbled it up! I, of course, immediately fell to my knees and thanked the goddess of babyfood for her mercy.

Sleep is no longer a taboo subject, and is in fact our main triumph and success. They both go to bed without so much as a whimper about 8:30 PM and sleep all the way through until about 7:30 AM (we even enjoyed 8:30 AM last weekend). Back down at 9:30 AM for a nap until 11 or 11:30 AM. After lunch and an outing, they take their afternoon nap from 2:30 to 4 or 4:30 PM. Mom is really enjoying these breaks in the day��but wondering what's going to happen next week when the clocks are turned back an hour!

They have really started to notice each other. Sometimes while I'm feeding them side by side in their highchairs, they hold hands. They play peek-a-boo to each other in bed and laugh so much. When we're out in the double stroller, Madeline sometimes rests her head on her brother's shoulder. When a stranger approaches and tries to talk to her, she hides her head behind Theo.

Mom has recently learned that silence is not necessarily a good thing. A few days ago, mom was in the kitchen doing the dishes. She was smiling to herself, saying "my babies are so well-behaved! I can hear them just playing quietly in the living room." After about 5 minutes of this unusual silence, mom went into the living room, and to her horror, discovered the reason for this contentment. The babies had found an open bag of potato chips on the table and had spread those chips all over the room. They were happily smashing them with their hands, putting bits on each other's head, grinding them into the carpet, and putting individual chips in the VCR. Live and learn, I guess.

White hoods

That's all the adventures for now. Until next time���