A glorious summer

We have had a glorious summer. The weather conditions in England have been the nicest and hottest since records began. It all started in May, and continued right up until the end of September. We are talking record-breaking heat�over 100 degrees F. What luck!

Our summer started off in May with a month long vacation to California. Poor Daddy had to stay home and work, so it was just Mom and the twins! Madeline and Theo got to spend lots of time with all their cousins, (great) Aunts, (great) Uncles, and grandparents. They were thoroughly spoiled! Thanks everyone!

We did so much! Amusement parks, water parks, zoos, train rides, ferry rides, merry-go-rounds, swimming pools, face painting, playgrounds�.. It was non-stop fun (for the kids at least. Mom was exhausted!)

Theo and Madeline loved Grandma and Grandpa�s cat, Gus and new dog Teddy. Madeline even got the chance to give him a bath.

We took a quick trip down to San Diego to visit Uncle Mike (my brother), Aunt Amy, cousin Miles�.and wait for the arrival of baby Lia. Amy was in China collecting her precious baby girl, so the rest of us had a great time going to the beach and playing with all of Miles� toys.

On the very last day Lia and Amy arrived home!

We also had the opportunity to go visit cousin Ryan, who is a US Marine, at his base. We got to play with some of his toys, too�.a hot red motorcycle and some enormous helicopters. Oh, the look on Theo�s face when Ryan opened up the hanger to show us the 20 or so gigantic military helicopters�.

Just a few weeks after we returned to England, we took a short family getaway in the south of France, near Perpignan. The kids loved the swimming pool, beach, and soaking up some French culture.

Here�s what the kids are up to:

Madeline is obsessed with dressing up. She has a big basket with costumes, shoes, necklaces, a feather boa, tiaras, and even a magic wand that talks! She is constantly putting on different outfits. She has recently discovered make-up, and so now all her dolls have lipstick caked between their plastic lips.

She�s become an avid shopper and TV commercial watcher. She flips through the Argos catalogue deciding which toys she wants. Anything Barbie, princess, pink, sparkly or with feathers. One afternoon she kept bugging me by pointing to each thing she wanted in the catalogue, so I told her to just take a pen and circle what

she wanted.

15 Minutes later, EVERY item in the Barbie section was circled!

We started Ballet class and Madeline just loves it! She goes to a great place called the Sandra Pepper School of Dance, taught by former prima ballerina, Sandra

Pepper (pronounced �Miss Peppa� by all her little English students). Mom and daughter had a special outing to go to the dance store and buy her first ballet shoes, leotard, ballet skirt, hair band and a ballet bag to

put it all in. What fun! Anytime she hears classical music, she calls it �ballet music.�

Theo is really into his trucks! A friend gave him a big box full of playmobile stuff-

dump truck, firetruck, crane, trash truck, snowmobile, diggers, motorcycles, trucks, trucks and more trucks. He is in love.

Just last weekend, we took him to a wonderful place called Diggerland. Kids can climb on and actually operate real construction equipment. We stayed for nearly 5 hours and Theo just couldn�t get enough. Mom and Madeline even gave it a try!

When he�s not playing with trucks, then he�s playing �rescue� using his two favorite toys-a bungee cord and a flashlight. He�ll get a truck stuck between two chairs and then come �to the rescue� with his bungee cord and flashlight.

Theo is the king of making funny comments. For example, one morning Daddy was driving the twins to school and got stuck in a traffic jam. Theo says �When there�s too many cars in front of us like that, Mommy says �We�re never going to make it-NEVER going to make it-never going to make it�..� (Very late, stressed out mommy on the school run).

Once when he was playing with Madeline, she took a toy away from him. He said in a very serious tone of voice �Madeline, that was not nice....and I just want you to know that.�

The best so far! When Theo woke up, around 6:30 AM one morning, he came knocking on my bedroom door. I sleepily said �What do you want Theo?� And this little boy voice from behind the door said �Mommy, I just want to make love to you.� (Where did he hear that phrase????). So we snuggled up and daddy when down stairs to turn on the TV for Madeline. When Gontran came stomping up the stairs, I jokingly said �who�s coming?�, and Theo said �Oh no! It�s your husband! Quick!

Hide!�

He speaks with a complete American accent, but has adopted several British words, such as �mustn�t� �quite� �as well� and �fairly.� Imagine my four-year old boy saying this sentence yesterday: �Mommy, I mustn�t eat that banana because it�s become quite squishy and far too yucky as well.�

Theo recently felt a bit under the weather, complaining that his �leg feels wiggly� and his �tummy is hot.� What�s up with that?

The other afternoon we were wandering through the grocery store, Madeline noticed some Christmas advertisements with Santa Claus. She turned to her brother and said:

�Hey, Theo! That�s the guy that comes down our fireplace and burns his butt!�

Madeline loves to keep us laughing with her variety of funny faces.

Late one night before I went to bed, I went into the kids room to kiss them good night. Madeline opened her eyes and sleepily said �Mommy, you make my heart so happy.� Ahhhhh. But the next morning, she had completely changed her mind and said �Mommy, you are a stinky, yucky poo poo face.� Ahhhhh.

The kids are old enough now to enjoy drop-off playdates. I can actually drop one or both of them off at their friend�s homes and leave! In return, I invite their friends over and give their mom a rest.

September 15th was their 4th Birthday. We had a great little party at home with about 10 of their friends. We played pin the nose on the clown and the girls did lots of dressing up.

For their birthday cakes, I put cake batter into ice cream cones and baked them. Add some frosting, sprinkles and a candle, and voila!

On September 16th, the twins started a new school, called St. Mary�s. They are in nursery class Monday to Friday from 9 to 11:30 AM. There are lots more children, and the space is huge and full of fun areas. There is a home corner,

office area, reading wall, sand station, dressing up section, painting easels, gluing and sticking table, etc.

There are several teachers, and I am still trying to learn their names. The head of the nursery is Miss Clark. But Theo and Madeline use their British accents and call her Miss Clock! What a hoot!

That same week, the kids started French school. Every Saturday morning from 10-12, they are immersed in French culture and lessons.

We�ve been invited to several birthday parties lately and the kids always have such a great time.

The kids saw the movie Cinderella for the first time. It was amazing to watch them follow the story and get so engrossed in it. When the mean step mother wouldn�t allow Cinderella go to the ball, Madeline was so upset saying �oh no! what is she going to do?�

And when the fairy godmother turned Cinderella�s tattered dress into a beautiful blue gown, the expression on Madeline�s face was worth a thousand words.

Theo was really upset when she lost her shoe on the stairs and especially when the evil step sisters tried to fit their big feet into the glass slipper. �You can�t do that! It�s not your shoe!�

We also went to see a 3D movie on the Imax large screen theatre. The images were so astonishing that Madeline and Theodore kept on catching the flying butterflies, again and again.

One game that the two of them like to play together is where Theo pretends to be a cat and Madeline pulls him around by his leash. Girl power! Even when they share a bed, look who�s boss!

We had a fantastic day out to Legoland with our friends Theresa and Alexander. We stayed nearly 8 hours and had a brilliant time. Except when mommy accidentally put Theo on a roller coaster thinking it was a slow ride�..it took him several hours to forgive me.

They both love drawing pictures, and here�s a few of their current masterpieces:

Theo: Clown with funny lines on his forehead.

Like mommy.

�They are not good, they can�t disappear.�

Madeline does great people with fingers and toes

Halloween was much anticipated. Theo was a fire/rescue man and Madeline was a princess/ballerina/fairy. We had a fun party at our house with lots of our friends from the American Club.

Afterwards, the kids had a great time going door to door getting candy. In all the excitement and despite all our practicing, at the first house Theo said �Trick or Halloween�ooops, I mean Happy Treating!�

Well, Mommy is off to Memphis, Tennessee for a week to visit her friend Bridgett. You may remember Bridgett from past website updates, including horse racing in 1999 and her family visit here last summer.

Bridgett has been very busy lately. She just started her own business hand making real gem baby bracelets. Looking for a unique baby gift? These adorable bracelets are custom made in any birthstone or gemstone, including amethyst, peridot, pearl, sterling silver, and many more. Perfect for Christmas, birthdays, christenings, etc, the bracelets cost from $15-$25 (�9-�15). But mention you heard about it from me and Bridgett will give you 10% off!

www.ohbabybracelets.com

Well, that�s it for now. In our next update, we�ll bring you the joys of Christmas� Perhaps from a different country�

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