August 16th ,2009: Friends and Family

Life has been very busy since Dad came back from France. The good news for you is that you won�t have to read endless paragraphs of texts... Lots of pictures this time!

Sunday, July 26th

Upon returning from the funeral on Sunday eve, Dad had to explain what had happened last week to his children. He also brought a few presents from France, and many souvenirs - but that will be for later, once the luggage are unpacked.

�Cause the children have a lot to share too.

Theo shows his airplanes. He participated in a second chess competition and won a second gold medal! He is ready to go to the next step in chess... And he would love that the French Wii game offered by Yann be installed on the Wii tonight.

Plus tard, Theo...

Madeline is proud of her sewing work. And Dad has brought to her a whole bag of Mamie�s favourite sewing tools. Mamie would have been so happy to pass them on to her.

Mamie had already offered a beautiful sewing machine, handed down from generation to generation... So much of a nice machine that a similar one (in much worse condition) was exposed at the entrance of the Mechanical Wonders exhibit of the Liberty Science Museum!

And Ambroise is proud to show that he has learnt a lot about mobiles.

His favorite one can play the music while spinning, provided that someone comes every 2 minutes to wind it up...

Ambroise is still very cute, but he is sleeping, so that�s about all we can say about him today.

Monday, July 27th

You probably won�t believe it, but Ambroise has changed a lot in just a week. He is taller; his head is larger; he is much more awake; his eyes are more open and he looks around him.

He can almost roll sideways... To look at something. He has a better coordination of the arms, since he can now put his fingers in his mouth. He manages to touch objects close to him.

Our son is much more talkative, he does more arheu�s. He actually answers to our arheus with his own now. He makes smiles more often. Is that a giggle we just heard? Yes, he laughs if you whisper next to him!

He does his nights, well, if you are not too demanding on the definition of �night�, The 1:00 feeding is sometimes skipped, allowing his parents a very appreciated 10:30 PM to 3:00 AM sleeping segment - still on a two hour cycle, burping not included.

There are enough changes to wnder if Elizabeth has indeed returned the old Ambroise for a new one to the hospital...

But whatever she has done, she has managed to get an Ambroise who has kept his hair and is still SOOOOOO cute!!!!

G�s Oncle Jean de Quillacq and aunt Clothilde have offered an adorable outfits. Blandine also offered a cute ensemble. How did you manage to get such cute clothes? Are all the clothes in France that cute? Thank you so much! Photos to come as soon as he is big enough to wear them.

Tuesday, July 28th

The young man snored in daddy�s sling.... So CUTE!

He also said his first full word, �Waouh�, which might not be in your Webster�s dictionary but is definitely in ours.

Didn�t know which one to choose between the two, so you get both

Wednesday, July 29th

Some kid�s party. Can�t remember what it was for. Damned I did wait too long.

�Elias? Thank you for the cute birdy, made with love!

Don�t pay attention to my exhilarated face - it�s feeding time, and Mom says I am still too young to eat chicken.

I�ll have a bite or two anyway.�

Theo is reading in preparation for the next book club - Robinson Crusoe, in full version please!

Thursday, July 30th

Honey, Lara Croft carries guns, not a baby!

Friday, July 31st

The young mothers� club is meeting, Jennifer, Betsie, Risa, my wife (and Lisa is taking the picture).

Time for Ambroise to be introduced to his third wife-to-be. Of all the ladies in the club, only our Elizabeth got a boy! Lucky him...

Ambroise can catch suspended objects io the play mat, like the little birdies. To increase his chances in this hunt, he is wearing a camouflage outfit.

Saturday, August 1st

The kids have discovered there is a life in the garden, away from the TV.

The vegetable garden is producing an incredible harvest of zuchini... The leaves are taking half the garden! Theo realized that the leaf stems were hollow, so he made a pipe out of them!

Ambroise isn�t into the garden quite yet.

On the other hand, he managed to fall asleep again in the early morning, letting his parents sleep for a block of 6 hours... until 9:30AM! In the realm of newborns, that�s an incredible sleep-in!

We swaddle Ambroise very tightly in a blanket at night. Believe it or night, he likes it very much when

he can�t move his arms and barely his feet;

He falls asleep almost immediately.

But he looks like a burrito rolled up like that!

And he loves to STRETCH and STRETCH when waking up. He can do that for almost an hour...

Sometimes scratching his face in the process!

Sunday, August 2nd

Dad heard that BestBuy was on the brink of bankruptcy and was selling computers at heavily discounted prices. So he bought a nice little laptop that will be quite useful during his commute.

But when arriving, at home, he realized that the laptop doesn�t have the webcam advertised on the flyer... Upon returning to the store, he is upgraded to the higher model. That means also a better chip and more memory on top of the webcam!

On the other hand, immediately starts the pleasure of installing a wireless network at home between the laptop and the desktop...

Crab season is on us again, and Madeline is so excited about going to catch these little buggers.

Theo isn�t into the crabbing quite yet.

Madeline has reorganized her room. The focal point is a wall of souvenirs - pictures of hers and of her family, trophies, tickets, map of holiday places... Very nice.

Ambroise loves Baby Einstein videos. He taps with his feet on his seat, talks to the little people and tries to catch the objects that passe by. In a few decades, he will do the same at baseball matches!

Too bad that the tape needs to be rewound from time to time... Back to reality, baby!

Monday, August 3rd

Madeline and Theo arrived first ex-aequo at water splash. But the trophies are for showing up at swim team all month - today is the last day and also party day.

We swear she knows how to read.

Ambroise recognizes faces, and it is such a pleasure to see him smile when you look at him.

If you say a word, he repeats it (no matter how hard he works at repeating it, it always comes out a variation of �arheu�, to his frustration).

We have reached a full two way-communication stage with him: if you repeat his arheu, he smiles and makes another one, which you repeat, which makes him smile... that can last for 10 or 15 minutes.

The week-end was full of these joyful moments.

Tuesday, August 4th

Theo has joined the breast feeding police. He was shocked when, for one time only, Mom gave Ambroise a top-up with formula. Poison! He is horrified when Mom has a Baileys! Alcohol!

Theo showed me the airplanes he has made at HobbyQuest camp last week. Some flap wings, others have rubber-band engines or even tiny electric engines! Nice work.

Ambroise has slept almost all day! He woke up at 7:00 after an almost full night, had to be awaken for feeding around lunchtime, and has been barely eating... Weird.

He still loves baby Einstein a lot. Now he cries when the tape rewinds itself! We are raising a future couch potato.

Mom had lunch with her friends Claudia (on her way to Florida) and Chris.

Thank you to the Lucci family for their present - a cute pajamas.

Wednesday, August 5th

Ambroise�s goal for the day is to put his entire fist in his mouth. He�s almost there.

M&T both keep rearranging their rooms - really upsetting to mom�s appreciation for symmetry and order...

Ambroise is always always smiling and cute

Sorry, this picture exists only in small size and bad resolution... It will never print correctly!

Ambroise�s favorite hobby is licking his mom�s shoulder.

�I�ve been said that my Mom�s shoulder tastes like ice-cream�, he says,

�but I don�t have a clue of what ice-cream is!�

We have two different Ambroises - a sweet boy, with his hair combed to one side...

... and a punk, sometimes even with a mohawk

Thursday, August 6th

Ambroise now can follow with his eyes. When Theo plays the trumpet, Ambroise keeps his eyes on the trumpet!

So we know he�s not deaf, just dumb.

Elizabeth has had a very vivid dream, as vivid as when her own mom passed away.

Mamie came to her. She was beautiful and serene. She told her she was very happy, at peace. The only thing she was missing was not seeing her grandchildren grow - being in eternity, she sees our past, present and future at the same moment.

Thank you to the Lopez family for the French building blocks (perfect!) and the Haniph family for the outfit and photo album.

Congratulations to Jenn Powers - she has now reached her 16th week of pregnancy!

Friday, August 7th

On Friday afternoon, Elizabeth packed up the twins and Ambroise into the car - with their respective luggage and paraphernalia - and drove to Secaucus to pick-up Dad after his day of work for a weekend away.

Ambroise took the most important - Daddy�s gold card, so that he can go shopping with mom (if you laughed at this one, you definitely are American)

It took several attempts for the car navigation to find the meeting place in the various layers of the highway exchange and in the Friday evening traffic, and several more hours to drive up to Vermont.

Saturday, August 8th

But it was all worth it - Sarah Stypa�s surprise birthday party. And what a nice and emotional surprise it was for her. Family from all over the country, friends from from everywhere had came over for her to this superbly organized party.

I know I can eat that flower. I only need to catch it.

Sunday, August 9th

We needed another day to rest of all that partying (which brought some crazy foreigners to do some crazy stuff)

Thank God the nearby lodge was very welcoming. For that matter, we would also like to thank the Butler family for having so graciously invited us to every breakfast, lunch, drink and expense met during that stay.

Don�t believe they are generous, here is the true reason: on Saturday morning at 6:00, their twins knocked on our door to play with M&T. After our long drive and our short night (Ambroise is still 2 month old), we definitely appreciated that suggestion.

So we declined, and Oscar and Oliver were kind enough to tell us in which room they could be met when the right time would come... And so from then on, we charged every of our expenses to that friendly room #8.

And so we appreciated the local parade.

Ambroise went into the wild to hunt for new mosquito species, but eventually discovered a gravitational singularity!

The return home was met with heavy traffic, and Ambroise discovered the true meaning of �drive-in restaurant�

Monday, August 10th

Madeline and Theodore went for their second book club meeting - Robinson Crusoe.

That sounds easy, but for the weeks before, they have read 2 to 3 chapters every day and discussed their contents during family dinners.

They even started with the original unabridged version of the book - until a whole chapter to describe the sea and its waves made them realize that people know a bit more about traveling than in the 18th century!

They got root beer floats for their treat, and a dip in Jacob�s pool afterward!

Wednesday, August 12th

Theo enjoyed time with his mom and cooking in the kitchen, until Madeline came back from yet another night at one of her girlfriends.

Wednesday, August 12th

Ambroise has made some more progress. He can now catch toys hanging in the playpen. He looks around, concentrates on one, catches it with one hand and holds it. He then either shakes it or go for another one!

Some words make him smile more than others. �Poo Poo�, �pee pee� and �papa� make him giggle hysterically. �Titi� (for Theo) and �maman� do not have the same magic.

Thursday, August 13th

The whole family enjoyed a day at the beach, thanks to Keeley Di Paolo�s birthday party

Ambroise, who initially intented to come in a calm and meditative mood, eventually joined the ladybug spirit.

Unless it was Loretta�s tenderness that decided him?

Friday, August 14th

Ambroise definitely knows where his mouth is, and how to drive his hands there. But he quite can�t stick his thumb out of his fist yet though...

He still loves sucking a good shoulder when he finds one.

Today, Ambroise was listening to Theo�s trumpet practice. They were facing each other. And he fell asleep!!! That�s probably �unheard� of.

Thank you to the Kuras for the Arbonne baby lotions and potions! We are sorry you are moving away from us...

Thank you also to Eleanor Harvey (Great-grandma!) for the adorable outfit! We are sorry you are still so far away...

Ambroise gives us some beautiful smiles and giggles. How not to fall in love with such a munchkin?

Saturday, August 15th

Regular Saturday for us - we tend to relax.

Mom is nice enough to help with the lawn again.

Theo goes to his chess club.

Except that late at night the Bonduelle cousins arrived.

They will spend the day tomorrow with us, as they crisscross the east coast for vacation.

Sunday, August 16th

We haven�t seen that part of the family for a very very long time, and it is really a great pleasure to (re)discover each other.

Jean-Bernard and Sylvia, as well as Daphne and Apoline the youngest of their five daughters, came for only a short time, but they surely filled our day with their presence.

Theo lost at chess, but surely got his share of fun at the beach!

Mom prepared her salmon on the plank, her tenderloin and a pear and almond salad... an all American dinner for the French food connoisseur family!

And more family fun in the next update...

If you bear a bit more patience with us.