August 19th, 2001: Summer!

We�ve been blessed with some fantastic weather -- hot, sunny days and warm, breezy nights. Well, for a few days anyway. As I write, it is pouring down rain, with no hope of any let-up in sight. But let me tell you, we really take advantage of the sun when it�s here! Madeline and Theo LOVE to play with water. Living in an apartment in the heart of London, means that we don�t have a backyard, but we take full advantage of the small gated walkway in front of the house. We�ve created our own little play area, complete with buckets of water, teapots, spoons, etc.

Theo has taken this one step further and enjoys �painting� with water-- he paints the flowers, the gate, the car, and himself.

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While the good weather is here, we spend almost all our time at the park or playground. Both kids love the big open field. They especially love to run in separate directions, giving mom a fitness test. The playground is still the firm favorite, where these two are up to their usual tricks.

They�ve recently discovered that they are tall enough to dump things in the trash can, including all their sandbox toys, juice, and even tried to dump eachother!

When we get home, it�s major trauma to get these kids in the house. They both seem to have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). First they have to ring the doorbell 14 times, then open and close the gate 6 times, step up two stairs, then go back to check the gate� ring the doorbell 3 more times, open and close the front door 9 times, go back to check the gate is closed, say bye bye to each and every flower, pick up the door mat to see what�s under it, ring the door bell 5 more times, go back and check the gate�open and close it 11 times, play with the mail slot, �..and finally rush into the house and up the stairs because the Teletubbies are on TV!!!

We�ve just been introduced to the world of Teletubbies. And oh! What an annoying world it is! But both kids are mesmerized by the video and ask for it all the time. In one segment, a little girl does a tap shoe dance. This is Madeline�s favorite, as she tries to imitate the routine. She copies the little girl by putting her hands on her hips, sticking her butt out and shuffling her feet. In the grand finale, she waves her hands in the air!

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The 4th of July was again celebrated at the American Ambassador�s residence. (well, us and 500 other ex-pats�)

This year we enjoyed much better weather but much more mobile kids. We were joined by our friends Tim and Gina, with their mischievious triplets who are the same age as Theo and Madeline. Those triplets are a very bad influence on our innocent angels as you can see�

Yes, that�s beer they are drinking!

Sarah took a month off in July, and so her friend Monica came to give us a hand. We all loved her so much that we are keeping her part-time. So now we get both Sarah and Monica. How lucky!

Brazilian Beauties

Our friends Barbara and Phil had a little girl, beautiful as her name - Azura , on July 10th. Congratulations new parents!

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Madeline got her first shoes! Hurray!! She is so proud of her little white girlie shoes. She shows them to everyone! She insists on wearing them all the time, even with her pyjamas.

Can you spot the differences?

They both have started to count. Well, the word �counting� is really stretching it � it�s more like �one�.she�.oh�free�too�.bee��

Other �firsts� this month were their first Popsicles, their first trip to the Science Museum, their first jumps in a puddle of mud (messy!), and they each got their first bee stings (on the same day).

The biggest change this month has been their language skills. They are learning new words everyday and they practice, practice, practice. When you open their door in the morning, they both immediately shout out all the words they can think of and point to the object. Window! Bunny Rabbit! Blanket! Radio! Book! Nose! Door! Theo!

They say most words in English, but when daddy is around, they�ll use a handful of their French vocabulary. In fact, after they say a word in English to mom, I�ll say �what does daddy call it?� and I usually get the right answer! Amazing!

You will find in their current dictionary the words they are saying and how to translate them.

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Here�s our best pictures of Theo this month:

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Here�s our best pictures of Madeline this month:

Madeline and our friend Alexander

Madeline likes to carry around Daddy�s passport and point to his picture saying �daddy!�

Yes, that�s a whole roll of toilet paper

Buckwheat still lives!

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And two free pictures:

There was a water workshop at the Science Museum

The kids had SO much fun!

Madeline in her brand new pink dress