July 13th to July 26th: �Till death do us part

A few more tidbits from the Quillacq family.

Monday, July 13th

Somehow, we are a bit relieved. Ambroise had almost lost his cuteness to the craddle c(r)ap Madeline had at that age, but Mom�s special cream and massage have repelled it for good.

Despite the time taken allocated to TLC, Elizabeth has also managed to prepare 143 birth announcements - cards and envelopes and addresses...

Dad is slightly behind as usual. At least, he has an excuse - he had to go back to work. And with a new boss in town, there�s no room for short days...

Meanwhile, M&T continue their social life. Swim team allows them to let go some energy - we hope they don�t have too much when they are invited to play or stay at their friends� house. T stayed at Eli�s for the day, Madeline went to sewing class.

We would like to apologize to all those who have been writing to us since Friday - the web hosting company has run maintenance on their mail server... and 4 days of mail were lost!

Our friend (and HSBC colleague) Nancy Walsh has taken a leave of absence. She�s pregnant! Congratulations Nancy! There�s a great adventure awaiting you!

Tuesday, July 14th

TA-TAAAA !!!! Today is France�s National Day!!!!

OK, enough fun.

Swim team had its first meet - Madeline arrived 4th in freestyle and 3rd in breaststroke, while Theo pulled 2nd place in free style. That�s really great - there was at least 5 swimmers!

Ambroise won a prize too: longest shoot of poop. All across the changing table. So upper class.

The pediatrician has confirmed Ambroise�s reflux.

Honey, where�s that warranty paper again?

But we know exactly the cause for the disease. Aunt Barbara caused it - he was perfect until she arrived.

Honey, where�s that lawyer�s phone number again?

When Daddy brought him his bath, Ambroise seemed wondering �Hey, I know you from somewhere�. You really don�t need much to feel loved by a baby...

Wednesday, July 15th

Madeline loves her sewing class!

And look at the great dress she made entirely herself!

Please appreciate the pockets - Madeline�s personal touch

Mamie de Quillacq would be so proud! She is one of the best seamstress in France and would love so much to teach her granddaughter.

Auntie Chris has finally arrived, and Ambroise has suddenly turned very quiet. Is there some kind of a Goble effect?

We look forward to seeing that Goble effect on the vegetable garden too! Weeds grow very well in the Garden State!

Madeline has discovered email - she has her own address and has started to send & receive.

So she has started communicating with Auntie B in California, then to her Dad in the office.

And then to herself: �Congratulations for swimming�, �How are you today?�, �Great dress!�

Thursday, July 16th

Madeline and Theo each got a whole $1 million (!!!!!) from Aunt Chris.

She also made Anbroise a beautiful quilt.

Aunt Chris also managed to find the supermarket with the navigation, did the groceries and the cooking afterwards. How cool is that?

Ambroise is very much into the Tour de France - he bikes all day with his legs and hands!

Swim team has had another swim meet. Madeline got 5th place at backstroke, 3rd place at freestyle and 4th place in relay. Theo got third place in freestyle and 4th place in relay. Good job kids.

Dad tries to do the imprint of Ambroise hands and feet... Not easy!

The result is almost as nice as this example...

Friday, July 17th

Mom here! Well�� the �papa- razzi� has gone to France to be with Mamie. So I am sitting in for him on temporary assignment. My duty is to report every movement and detail as well as dad. No can do, folks. But I will do the best I can. At least I will use proper English and correct spelling unlike Monsieur.....

[Pardon ???]

Ambroise is having a difficult time swallowing the reflux medicine the doctor prescribed�it is peppermint flavor, yuck!. So Ross, our favorite pharmacist, put banana flavoring in it. It seems to help a little, but still quite a challenge to get that liquid down.

Madeline has learned how to do free downloads from Netflix, so she has seen almost every episode of True Jackson and the Wizards of Waverly Place. In fact, we pretty much spent the entire day in our PJs watching TV or playing the Wii. Terrible parenting, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Madeline, Theo and Aunt Chris made Ranger Cookies today�an old Goble (my mom�s side) family recipe.

It was the first time the kids had seen Crisco. Yum! Then Aunt Chris made homemade macaroni and cheese.

Saturday, July 18th

Cousin Danny (Aunt Chris�s son) and girlfriend Katherine arrived late last night from Baltimore.

Danny asked Theo to give him a tour of our house. Theo started in the living room and pointed to the TV and said �First, this is where the Wii used to be, now let�s go to the basement and I�ll show you where the Wii is now.� We know what�s important to Theo!

After a quick tour of town, everyone except mom and Amboise took off to the beach.

Love the Jersey shore!

Theo taught Danny how to dig a big hole!

Madeline boogie boarded with Katherine.

The garden produced a monsterous zucchini and some radishes! Good job watering kids!

(The water bill spiked to an all time high last month, so those radishes basically cost $4 each.)

Tonight on the menu is Mushroom chicken and rice-- the recipe is from Chris�s mother-in-law, taught to Chris and now to Katherine and grasshopper pie. Damn, I love having someone else in charge of the kitchen.

Oh�and before I forget: Our e-mail was down for 4 days last week and we lost all incoming mails during this time. So if you sent us something and haven�t received a reply- that�s why!

Sunday, July 19th

Lots of smiles and �coos� from Ambroise today.

Chess club for Theo, swimming pool for the older kids.

The birth announcements are mailed! We sent about 150�

hopefully I didn�t forget anyone.

Tonight we are all starting Robinson Crusoe � in the original, unabridged version. Wish us luck.

Monday, July 20th

For breakfast, Aunt Chris once again made �super monsterous chocolate chip pancakes� for the kids (ok, and for me, too).

Madeline spent the day at the beach with Sarah. Theo had an all-day play date with Charlie here, working on their drawings.

Ambroise laughed for the first time! Sounded more like a goat, but we were thrilled!

The bill for the epidural came today�$16,100. Worth every penny!

Tuesday, July 21st

Mamie passed away last night.

She was at home, between her husband and one of her children, Gontran.

We are very sad and will miss her very much (and we count on Madeline and Theo to talk to Ambroise about her), but we also know that it is better for her. She has now reunited with her lost parents, her lost sisters and her two lost daughters. She has found the love that her faith had her look forward to all her life.

She has also been relieved from the terrible disease, which had been eating her alive for the last two years. Always courageous while facing terrible pain, she had never complained and always remained positive.

Her entire family had been by her side during her last days, like they had been for months and years, something so important in her life. It was a very dignified and peaceful way to go.

So dad will stay in France until Sunday.

Wednesday, July 22nd

Theo is taking a 3 day class called Hobby Quest. He made a motorized airplane, a helicopter (which is now stuck on our roof) and lots of paper airplanes.

Stacy Ford sent some adorable outfits for Ambroise.

Lucy and Lindsay sent some very British books! Corruption!

After the success of her Beef Strogonof and grashopper pies yesterday, Aunt Chris has been hired by Madeline to make 3 more pies � one for now, one for later, one for when Gontran gets home.

Theo calls them cricket pies.

Robinson Crusoe is sooooooooooooooooo boring. It took 14 pages to describe a wave. We got to page 98 of 470 pages�and that took almost a week. At that rate it will take 5 more weeks to finish. So, after much deliberation, mom decided to go buy the abridged versions for everybody. Let�s see if that makes it a little more interesting and faster paced.

Thursday, July 23rd

Aunt Chris left today. Boo-hoo. But she left a few meals in the freezer, great memories, and lots of good vibes. I will miss her support�she took the 1 or 2 AM feedings so I could get a longer stretch of sleep. Plus, she was always willing to snuggle with Ambroise while I took a nap.

She did ALL the shopping, cooking and treat making for an entire week. Madeline and Theo will surely miss that. We are going back to hot dogs and mac �n cheese, kids.

Gontran has the camera with him in France, and Aunt Chris took hers back home with her, so no photos until Gontran returns in 4 days. Mercy-me! How will we cope?

I sent Theo and Madeline off to spend the night at friends� houses, so it�s just Amboise and moi tonight.

Friday, July 24th

Ambroise is 2 months old today! He wore an adorable tie- dye outfit�too bad I don�t have the camera to take a photo.

The Pelino-Whalen family brought over an amazing hand knit personalized ear flap hat-- like from our travels to Peru!

Thank god we can change dates on pictures

Loretta came over with an enormous box of baby toys�Ambroise says thanks!

Madeline and Theo spent the entire day at the pool with the Krause family. Then Theo went back for another sleep-over and Madeline spent the night with Sarah. Thank you!

Mamie�s funeral was today. Friends and family from all over France came to show their support. It was also a huge family reunion and we are so sorry we couldn�t be there.

Saturday, July 25th

I taught Amboise how to eat his own toes.

Theo ONCE AGAIN got first place in the Monmouth County chess tournament! Way to go!

He also lost 2 teeth!

M & T are both out again at sleepovers (I owe a few moms big time!). So, Ambroise and I went to the DeBonte�s bon voyage party at the Tiki Bar at Driftwood Beach Club. Good luck in Florida Claudia and Neil!

Sunday, July 26th

Ambroise nursed at 9 PM last night and slept from 9:30 PM until 4:30 AM. Holy Moly!!! Now we are making progress!

I am THRILLED to announce that Jenna and Mike (from Santa Cruz) are expecting their first baby!

Gontran is home!

Thank you so much to Jessica Kuras who made us a fantastic dinner�taco pie! Plus corn, refried beans and oatmeal cookies. Ummmm-ummm