Ocean Paradise

The twins sensed that something was going on; Mom had been packing luggage and Dad came home early from work one day. They became increasingly nervous as the day went on, to the point we couldn�t leave the room they were in - they were so scared we would abandon them!

There was no need to count people when we boarded the taxi, Madeline had already done it for us, and was calling every missing person!

The flight was relatively easy. We appreciated the night flight which really helped the kids sleep (The Benadryl didn�t hurt either!). On arrival, a helicopter dropped us in a secluded hideaway.

The kids arrived to a sunny Mauritian tropical garden, and Theo delighted himself by running around his new environment. Our little rabbits enjoyed racing back and forth the alleys every day, helping the gardeners rake up the leaves and water the plants, or trying to catch birds, lizards and ants. Madeline loved looking at the butterflies - until one started to flutter around her, causing her the fright of her life!

Sleeping on the flight

They discovered the variety of birds, including the one wearing a yellow coat and the one wearing a red coat. The bird wearing a hat on his head was the favorite.

horizontal rule

The kids had difficulty choosing between the swimming pools (�Sisi-pu�) and the beach. The baby pool offered them the chance to play with the watering can, water the coconut trees, as well as splash each other. Madeline loved to swim (i.e. �kick� the water - thanks mom for holding me) in the adult�s pool, called the �big one�.

Both loved to be thrown in the air or to walk back and forth on the pool sides; we have seen Theo�s teeth so many times as he was constantly smiling!

The Jacuzzi bubbles had to be checked from close and Madeline ended up completely underwater. We don�t know who was more scared - her or her parents!

horizontal rule

Playing in the sea required no special watertight diaper, and the beach quickly turned into a nudist camp.

Elizabeth proved her Californian experience of sand activities and building sand castles of all shapes quickly became a hobby. Smashing them also. On September 11th, the plane crashing in the �big house� was a big story on the Mauritius beach as well.

horizontal rule

Other hobbies included playing with footprints, spreading jelly on toasts (sand on chairs), running to the other side of the beach, kicking the ball, enjoying the use of shovels and rakes, looking at boats pass by, as well as helping mom collect fine sea shells.

The hotel was top class. Elizabeth had once again spent weeks going through the brochures, and the hotel she chose was la cr�me de la cr�me. It was more than a luxury hotel, with marble bathroom, (free) nautical activities (water ski, diving, sailing�), spa, massages and even a kids� club; it was also the last existing reminder of colonial heritage with an incredible tranquility, a service perfect in every detail including a private butler and sincerely friendly people.

The three restaurants� food was to die for. Created by one of France�s biggest chefs, the daily changing menus contained the finest dishes ever. Theme evenings including seafood & Asia were impressive. The African night included rare meats: crocodile, shark and ostrich. The chef told us he was considering crickets for next year. Fruits and wine were top of the class as well. Musicians and dancers included!

The glass bottom boat was a big hit. Fish! Fish! Fish! Everywhere!

horizontal rule

The Head chef even sorted out two incredible birthday cakes in cooperation with the �chef patissier�. Madeline and Theodore were delighted.

Thanks to the baby monitor, mom and dad were able to enjoy the beach or swimming pool while the twins were taking their nap. Even at night, the baby monitor worked as far as the restaurant and bar.
Peace! Paradise!�

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Other Kodak moments included the kids� lunches with pasta, apple juice and ice-cream. Their favorite dishes! And they didn�t even have to eat properly, as they were thrown in the pool afterwards!

At the end of the day, the bar provided warm milk which was gulped down in seconds.

We saw one of the few colonial houses of the island, fitted with lake, lawns, campher trees, pieces of furniture carved out of rare essences� The kids loved the frogs jumping in the grass.

horizontal rule

After two weeks of sunshine, we enjoyed a second helicopter ride to reach the airport - but a bit longer to see more of the island.

The return flight was a day flight... A long day flight.

Luckily mom had a bag full of toys - including playdough - which Madeline ate and Theo stuffed in the ashtray. It�s a 13 hour flight, so the toys weren�t exciting for long.

Thus we walked up and down the aisles for hours - to the delight of all aisle passengers. Theo insisted on announcing [yelling] �Man sleeping!� whenever he encountered someone with their eyes closed.

Not sleeping on the flight

London was... London, but we are now back in place with our mind full of memories.

horizontal rule

The kids provided their load of joyful moments and expressions:

Theo could not forget that a bee had gone into his neck two months before, and �bee neck� was a more than daily reminder. So it was the event of the year when a fly came into Theo�s eye. Our explanation � that the fly came to kiss Theo � never fully stood straight in his mind�

Some plants do sting and both kids have learned to listen to their parents� advice. �Fleur pique� was since then their regular reminder of the lesson.

Madeline and Theo have greatly improved their staircase technique in two weeks time. The old crawling method (one knee first) was replaced by holding an adult�s hand (much more efficient). The adult was finally replaced by the side wall, which offered much more freedom to these independent adventurers.

Madeline has taught us discipline. She sometimes turns up to us, point her finger up and say �Wait!� in a strong command. She knows how to manage her priorities.

Madeline�s first name has always been difficult to pronounce, and �Ma-nie� was both kids� common pronounciation. It has now changed to an almost perfect �Ma-da-line�

Theo has impressed us with numbers. He can count up to 10 in both languages and decipher the numbers. Not bad for a two-year old!!! He even counts faster than us from time to time: one, two, three, seven! He can also recognize all his colors now, once again in both languages, although red and blue are still a bit difficult to separate.

Madeline has done great progress as well. She was the first to understand there are five fingers on a hand: �One, two, five, two, five!� It might have taken Madeline an additional month, but she is now also able to count up to 10 � and yes, in one shot and in the winning order!

Our discipline technique is �time out�. Practice makes perfect, and Theo is very good at it. He stays utterly silent, hands against the wall without moving nor even trying to look around. He will stay alone and quiet until Mommy says it�s �finished�, at which times he goes to Madeline and says �I�m sorry�.

horizontal rule

Language skills are improving daily. Madeline has a good French accent - She even sounds typically French when she speaks English! Like most French, she has trouble with �th� and pronouncing �h�. For example, she says �Zank you� and �help� becomes �elp�! Theo is the opposite. He has no trouble saying �hello� -his favorite word- but he can�t say �R� very well so Christmas colors become �wed and gween�.

Other events this month:

The twins� first dentist appointment went well. Theo has all his 20 baby teeth. Madeline has 18.

We went to our first birthday party for our friends the Wills (triplets Hamish, Steedley and George) who turned two!