Christmas 2000

Welcome back to our site. We hope all our friends and family had a great Christmas and New Year.

We started the festivities off in mid-December with our pilgrimage to Lille to visit the de Quillacq family. Madeline and Theo loved playing with their cousins and we adults enjoyed a fantastic meal and lively conversation.

Two days later, off we went to California, to celebrate Christmas like it should be�in the sun, on the beach, and barefoot!

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Theo, on the other hand, was a ham! He would go to anybody, any time. Even total strangers on the plane. But he especially liked his Grandpa, and would greet him each morning with his arms wide open.

Over Christmas, Theo started standing and loved to practice walking. We bought him his first pair of shoes. By the end of the 3 � week visit, Theo managed to climb up the stairs, scoot to the door and try to open it.

Theo recently discovered the word �clock�, (pronounced �cawk�). He was literally obsessed! Everywhere we went, if there was a clock in the near vicinity, Theo would spot it and point frantically saying �cawk!, cawk!�

Theo enjoyed playing the piano�he describes his style as �modern funeral� as he could only reach the keys on the left. But after a few weeks of practice, he was up for his first performance, and even did a duet with Miss Madeline.

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We enjoyed taking walks and seeing all the houses decorated for Christmas.

We visited Santa Claus. One baby was terrified (just guess who) and one baby was bored.

We all enjoyed our regular visits with Aunt Barbara, Uncle Mike and cousins Ryan and Nathan at their house. �Another house to destroy!� the twins exclaimed! Lots of fun stuff in her cupboards. Auntie B was happy to read Brown Bear over and over again.

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Dad went home and mom stayed for another week. We enjoyed more visits with friends and family.

Mom was on her own for the 11 hour plane ride home. No comment. But we made it home alive and are getting back into the swing of life here.

It took about 10 days to get everyone back to London time, London schedules�..but we�re still not used to London weather.

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The twins got their first haircuts! Theo was pretty casual about the whole thing, but Madeline was traumatized. We thought she was scarred for life and would never get over it. But then she got a balloon and everything was right with the world.

We have finally baby-proofed the kitchen, and not a minute too soon. Theo is standing up tall now and has discovered the many treasures that used to be hidden in top drawers, on table tops and up high in cupboards.

On a recent expedition, Theo discovered a box of powdered sugar. True to his scientific nature, he subjected the sweet powder to several tests, including smearing, wiping, rubbing, blowing, and tasting. He was very satisfied with his results.

Theo just loves anything sweet. Dad brought mom back a huge box of Jelly Bellies � which mom accidentally left on a chair. Theo was delighted as he flipped over the box and the contents flew and rolled across the room. It was a mad dash as mom tried to pick them up while Theo popped them in his mouth even quicker!

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Dad just got back from New York where he was on business. He enjoyed reading and snoozing on first-class flights, dining in fine restaurants every night, a luxurious hotel and maid service (well, this is mom�s version of the story anyway).

It was during these past few months that Madeline and Theo have started to talk. They jabber away, and are starting to make sense! Words so far are car (cah), truck (uck), duck (da) quack quack (cak, cak), blanket (ba ba) banana (ba ba or la la ) marmite (ma ma ) dog (wuf! wuf!) daddy (da-dee!) ring (raw raw). Theo calls Madeline �Na-Na.� I can ask them where is X? and so far they correctly point to eye, nose, ear, mouth, pants, diaper, shirt, pajamas, hat, sock and shoe. Actually, each day they seem to add a new word. Theo is a bit more verbal right now and is so interested in words. His very favorite thing is to go around the house in my arms while I point to an object and say what it is. He tries to repeat it.

Madeline is just cute as a button. She is so playful and is fascinated with babies and animals. When we go to playgroups, she is instantly attracted to the babies and just giggles and points to the �ba ba.� But Madeline has a hard time with the older kids who all seem to steal her toys. She got to a point the other day, that if a bigger kid even approached her, she gave �the look of death� and quietly repeated �no!�

And she gets so excited if she sees a cat! She says �mee-ooo-ww� clear as a bell. She is great at making faces and tries to copy whatever you do. Her favorite is alternating between sticking out her tongue and protruding her front bottom teeth. Her favorite playthings are hats.