November 2010: Ebb and Flow

Our dear friends the Butlers have moved to London.
We miss you already!

Theo got a cool telescope from cousin Yann.

Madeline and Theo earned their CNED CE2 diploma.

For that they each earned a present
Theo got to order custom-made converse tennis shoes. He designed them himself- the color stitching, rivets, fabric, soles, everything!
Madeline FINALLY was allowed to get her ears pierced!

Ryan got engaged! Welcome to the family Desiree.
Auntie B came for a visit.

Just in time for some gorgeous fall weather.
Ambroise is fascinated with Auntie B's camera that has a little Ambroise playing with a balloon.

She has trouble recording daddy reading a book because as soon as Ambroise sees Auntie B's camera he says "baby balloon?"

(Also on youtube: )
Just weeks after learning to walk,
he is already ready for soccer season!

(Video on youtube: )
The girl's book club is still meeting br /> once a month at our house during lunch.
Thanks for all your help, Theo!
We are ready for lots of winter evenings by the fire.

(Lots of evenings, probably,
but surely not enough for the whole winter...)
Since the Butler's abandoned us for Thanksgiving, we decided to go to a fancy restaurant instead.
Somebody forgot to remind us that you really shouldn't take an 18 month old to a long, fancy meal. We each took turns running around with him while the others ate (and guzzled wine) as fast as they could.

A few of Ambroise progress steps
- Ambroise can walk and run easy, he can dance (stamp his feet), jump (although both feet always stay on the ground), lift a leg in the air, but walking backwards is still hard. You need to guide him when he sits back into your laps, he would sit on the floor. And Gosh, how much he loves to sit and read in someone's lap! He is actually shocked that mom can read all the books without opening them! Weirdly, the picture books tend to hide themselves now, but he knows they are behind the couch pillows.
- He can put old papers into the kitchen's trash can, separate the bacon from the eggs. He loves hearing the microwave ding, and enjoys when we count down to this noise. He loves drinking from the water spray nozzle
- He is scared when M&T jump on daddy's back. To be more precise, he is plain jealous when another kid sits on his lap or gives him cuddles. Daddy is king when he comes back from work, as Ambroise welcomes him with all his words, shows him his toys, the candle, the fire, and explains all the excitments of the day - like the dog at the park or the police car that stopped in front of the house.
- Building a block tower is no secret for him anymore. He actually stands up to put the last ones at the top and even finishes it up with dominos.
- He knows where the cookies and the crackers are stored. Actually, he brings the boxes to us now! Hey, who has left tiny finger prints in the butter???
- He has had a couple of haircuts now, and they go easily, but geeze was he scarred to death when a bald hairdresser walked towards him!

Language skills
- Among the recently added words are "gedem" (je t'aime), "voibure" (voiture, = car), "aa, aa, aa, aa" (counting his toes), "fah" (fire, or feu. Please do also blow air when saying that word, like when you blow on something hot), "coa, coa" (everybody knows that grenouilles don't "ribbit").
- Ambroise doesn't know his colors yet, but can recognize a dozen animals and make their sounds. He can recognize both the coccinelle and the ladybug, the papillon and the butterfly, the cochon and the pig. The doctor reassured us that dual language would not cause any longterm damage to his brain...
- When you show Ambroise a lion and ask if it it's a dog, he says "no". Ambroise also understands the forbidden concept that comes with it, like in "no throw". For instance, he came down the stairs one day and told his mom "No, No, No". A quick walk around the house revealed a sponge in the toilet bowl!
- He can say "down" when he is done eating, or "wader" when he is thirsty. That eliminates a lot of frustration.
- He knows what the "door" and the "walls" are. Actually, he runs into walls for the sake of it! br /> - He can show his belly-button. Madeline & Theo were kind enough to teach him also where the "zizi" is.

Baloons and balls
- "Baboon" is still his most cherished word, the first word he utters in the morning. He is so happy to find his old friend again and again. Groundhog day, really. It cleary has its benefits. Dad managed to stay at the car dealership for an hour straight! (car dealerships have HUGE balloons).
- Ambroise throws his balloon in the air and hits it on its way down. Perfect volley-ball serve!
- Balls can be used in many ways. After seeing a kid playing basket-ball at the park, Ambroise has started putting balls into baskets now. Madeline had thrown the ball so fast at papa that papa had to protect himself. Ambroise was so impressed that he explained it all to his mommy and started to do the same (some un-learning techniques had to be implemented there).
- Ambroise walks around the ball to kick it in the direction he wants. He knows that the neighbor has a ball in his garden, hidden behind his garage, although we couldn't see it.
And a few random pictures