May 2001: Tigers and Temples

April and May were busy months!

We recently bought a new computer and decided to get an ADSL internet line installed. It is wonderful and fast, but we've had a few hiccups ' especially with receiving mail. So if you have sent us an e-mail in the last 2 months, and haven't received a reply ' please resend. Apologies.

April brought us Easter at Mamie and Bon Papa's house (Grandma and Grandpa de Quillacq). Theo had a great time searching for hidden eggs'' well, they weren't that hidden, and he had the help of a half a dozen or so cousins. After the 4 day Easter weekend in Lille, mom and dad left the twins there, and headed off to'.

Nepal! 12 days of adven- ture! We explored Katmandu's temples, watched Tibetan weavers make carpets, bought several Pashminas at a fraction of the price in Europe and photographed the colors and the people. We then took a tiny airplane up and around the Himalayas (spectacular!) to Mt. Everest.

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Next came white water rafting and camping for a few days, landing in the Terai. We stayed in the jungle for several days, crossing our fingers as we went on elephant and jeep safari in search of the elusive Bengalese tiger. No luck, but we saw lots of tiger paw prints. We were blessed with numerous rhino sightings'quite close, too! Next, we drove our way along small mountain villages and ended in Pokhara, for a few days of rest in the sun by the swimming pool. All in all, quite a fun and rejuvenating trip.

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Madeline and Theo survived their abandonment, but did their mother? There were apparently lots of tears in the beginning, but they both soon settled in with Mamie and Bon Papa. Madeline enjoyed Mamie's songs and Theo loved for Bon Papa to say 'woof' when they saw a dog. Cousin Sophie lent a much needed helping hand for the first week. Mom and Dad made daily phone calls to check in, but we really didn't need to because they had a great time.
During her stay in Lille, Madeline was somehow convinced and coaxed into accepting, and now LOVING, the swing. Oh joy! She squeals with delight when she sees the swing set at the park. And how convenient for mom to have both babies on the swing next to each other! No more running back and forth between the slide for Madeline and the swing for Theo. Now let's just hope Theo doesn't have a sudden passion for the merry-go-round'.

Theo has had a difficult time recently with 2 new pearly whites that are arriving. He now has virtually a full mouth of teeth. I think there are 16 in total (but I'm not going in there to check! Ouch! Those things are razor sharp!) Teething turns Theo into a whiney, grumpy old man. It has gotten to the point, at times, that we have started to use 'Time Outs.' But after a rough week or two, he magically reverts to his usual chirpy self. He is walking much more confidently'going from one end of the playground to the other teetering like a zombie, or casually strolling around the house. He will walk with me to and from the house to the car as long as I hold his hand (he wraps those little sausage fingers around my index finger and holds on for dear life!) This makes it much easier to get them both to the car. Before, I had to wrestle two 20 lb babies into my arms, get to the car, and with one finger, unlock the car and get one buckled up in a car seat while still holding the other.

Actually I was quite good at it. People would stop and stare, marveling at my maneuvers. Now Theo can walk holding my hand while I carry Madeline. He then stands patiently against the car for me to do Madeline first. Much easier.

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Madeline is in a really sweet stage. She smiles a lot and loves to practice her words. While sitting in her highchair, she'll request something, but I won't quite understand the word. So I go down the list of her favorites' banana? Papaya? Juice? Corn? She replies quite politely 'no' to each item, until I land on the right one and she gives me a huge crinkle nose grin to respond affirmatively! 'She-o' is the most common request (Cheerios).

She's standing and cruising well, and has even attempted a few steps. Better late than never, I guess! She likes to do things on her own, like eating her yoghurt. Don't even think about trying to help her! And she loves to be mommy's little helper, fetching her socks for me, wiping Theo's nose, and sweeping the floor with her little hand broom.

He got a sunburn on the swing!

Developing networking skills while relaxing on the swing...