Monday 6/11 to Sunday 10/12: From the mouth of the babes

It takes 25 of these...
It takes 25 of these...
Deja Vu, Novembre 2000
... to get one like this

Things are getting lively at the Quillacq house!
Or should I say things are getting LOUD!!

Madeline and Theo are concentrating on talking! From the minute they open their eyes to the minute they fall asleep it's chatter chatter chatter. Actually it's point to something, then chatter�.point to something, then chatter. They especially love to point to the pictures leading up the staircase to their bedroom and love for us to tell them about each photo. It has become a part of their bedtime ritual.

Mom likes to hold her hands up and ask Madeline "where's Theo?" Madeline will point to him. In fact, she will respond correctly to "where's daddy?" and "where's Sarah?" But she has a big dilemma with "where's Madeline?"

A few new words have arrived: So far, we think they have said "ca" for clock, (or cow), "cra ca" for cracker, "ba ba" for their book Brown Bear, "toe" for Theo (and coincidentally, for toe), "sss" for Sarah, and "da dee" for daddy. Madeline will help me sing Old Macdonald had a Farm, by adding "eee-iii-eee-iii" We're working on the "ooo". Madeline really understands the word "no" and says it to us all day long. When I ask Madeline if she wants a drink, she shakes her head and whispers "nah."

Madeline in the bath, November 2000 Madeline in yellow, November 2000

Mom had the bright idea of teaching Madeline and Theo the sign language for hunger (putting your fingers to your open mouth). Theo couldn't have cared less, but Madeline caught on quickly. Nearing mealtime, she'll pull on mom's skirt and sign FEED ME NOW FEED ME NOW.

They both eat pretty well and have mostly finger foods. A few days ago at lunch, I was eating a spicy Thai stir fry with tofu. They both insisted on trying it and actually loved it and gobbled it down. And they both like fizzy water by the spoonful. In general, Madeline takes after her dad's taste-she loves carbohydrates and anything salty. Theo takes after his mom in that he likes anything sweet like fruit or chocolate and anything creamy like yogurt.

Theo's telephone, November 2000
Red baloons, November 2000

Theo, code name Action Man, is more interested in doing things. And man, has he got a lot to do. He tries to fit it all in between naps and mealtimes. When he isn't rolling off the bed, talking on the phone, or messing with the t.v. remote control, he's emptying drawers, pulling everything off the coffee table, ripping up the t.v. guide, scattering a box of toothpicks and eating bubble bath.

In fact, he's got so much to do, that he decided that he really didn't need to nap anymore. Soon after, he decided that Madeline didn't need to sleep either. Madeline was more than happy to comply. Grumble, grumble. In short, Mom totally jinxed the whole "perfect sleepers" thing by mentioning it in the last web site update. Theo has decided to sit up in bed and throw all his toys out onto the floor. There are several problems with this-first, the toys don't magically fly back into the crib. Second, Madeline finds this hilarious and keeps egging him on with shrill screams of laughter. Third, Theo can sit up, but can't get himself back down. So please, somebody make an offering to the god of Naps for us.

Theo loves books. Sometimes he'll sit in the corner with a book, turning the pages and "reading" to himself. Most of the time, he prefers to have a book read to him (over and over and over again). He lets you know by throwing a book in your lap. Current favorites are Brown Bear, Brown Bear and the gripping sequel Polar Bear, Polar Bear.

Mom made a small photo album with pictures of all the relatives that the twins will see over Christmas. We hope this will help them not to be so stressed out when an unfamiliar face approaches. They both just freak out when someone they don't know comes over. So we look at the photo album several times a day, pointing and saying "Grandpa, Barbara, Tom, etc." We even have pictures of themselves in it and they think that's funny.

Theo has mastered stacking blocks. We have done it sooooo many times together, counting "one�two�.three�.four�five�" for each block stacked on top of the other. When all the blocks are stacked, we clap and say "yeah!" Now, on his own he counts "uhh�uhhh�uhh�uhh.." and then claps for himself when he's done.

We were all so happy to have Grandma and Grandpa de Quillacq come to London for a visit. Theo and Madeline were showered with attention and gifts---just look at these beautiful hand-knitted sweaters from Grandma.

Walking the grandparents, November 2000

Madeline in red with a big smile, November 2000

The babies are getting big, so we had to get new car seats. It was the first time they had been in the car facing forward. (The first car seats are the kind that sit backwards.) Theo was very suspicious, but quickly distracted by the passing trees. Madeline just smiled. More than anything, they both love the big boxes that the car seats came in. We made one into a small house with little windows and the other into a long tunnel. Theo giggles as he goes in and out of the house. Madeline scoots her way from end to end of the tunnel, stopping to play peek-a-boo on either side.

Other news: Sarah went to Brazil for a much needed vacation. We hope she is enjoying her family and friends. Mom shows the babies her picture everyday so they won't forget her (how could they?). Bring us back some sunshine, Sarah!

Mom just finished her class "Be your own financial advisor," and learned a lot-especially that she really needs a good financial advisor!

Dad is doing great and really enjoying his job. He works long hours, so he takes advantage of the weekends and spends all day with the babies. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, mom gets up and brings the babies down to daddy, who is still sleeping in bed. They wake him up by crawling all over him and poking him in the eye. They love this time with their dad. Today (Monday morning) after breakfast, Madeline scooted into our bedroom. The bed was still unmade and it looked like there was someone on Daddy's side. Madeline's face lit up as she held up her arms to the bed and squealed "da-dee! da-dee!" It nearly broke her heart when I turned on the light and had to show her that daddy wasn't there. sniff sniff.

The trio, November 2000

Our bed is Theo's favorite place. He loves us to throw him into the pillows face-first. Then he just rolls around giggling. In fact, he likes anything soft like pillows or fabric. He especially loves to rub his head in a pile of clean laundry. Weird, huh?

Theo was constantly knocking his sister down by pushing her over or poking her in the eye. So dad taught them both to lightly stroke people's faces while he says "ami" (friend). Now, at random, Theo will scoot up to me and say "AAAAAA" while stroking my face. Then he pokes me in the eye.

My favorite thing right now is the way they smell when they wake up from a nap-Theo is really sweaty and smells like vinegar. Madeline smells like sweet camembert cheese.

That's about all for now. We wish all our friends and family a happy Christmas and New Year.

We send a special prayer to Vicki Terrell and her whole family.

Family photo, November 2000
Smiling pumpkin Theo, November 2000