Winter 2012


At the beginning of January we lost Catherine.
She was a dear sister-in-law, special friend, and attentive mother.  We all miss her.

with Madeline

with Theo



We watched the documentary "Forks Over Knives", which debates the impact of eating animal products and food as medicine. The film was incredible and so convincing, that we decided as a family to do a 30 day complete vegan trial. No meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy, no milk, no cheese.
The first week was challenging and also exciting- learning about ways to substitute dairy and other animal products for plant- based ones. Seitan, tofu, Tempeh, Quinoa, almond milk, Tamari, Miso...... oh my! Mom tried out tons of new recipes- some hit and some miss. By week three we were all pretty sick of beans and lentils; but we carried on! For an occasional treat, we went to an awesome Vegan restaurant for their famous seitan satay.

Check out Theo's plate before and after!

At the end of the 30 days, our family meeting concluded:

bulletDad was happy to continue being vegan, and happy to have lost 5 pounds. But an occasional steak and seafood must be allowed.
bulletMom was happy to keep eating vegan as long as she could add cheese. But mom was fed up with spending hours trying to cook something 12 year olds would eat.
bulletMadeline and Theo were both hungry. Theo wanted to go back 100% to before and eat even more meat. Madeline doesn't really want to eat meat, but yes to dairy. She says she'll be mostly vegetarian.


Madeline took a 12 hour Dance Rogue hip hop workshop. The instructors were choreographers who work with Usher, Chris Brown, Justin Beiber, etc. She did a few hours of each style of dance and ended with some serious hip hop.

Also available at

Dance Rogue 2012 | Kick Dance Rumson, NJ


Finally, some snow!

I'll bet that chocolate house tastes yummy!

Here's what happens when you have a sister:
She paints her baby brother's toe nails

tea party in the yard  

Ambroise visits a fire station

A few pictures:

Here it is, your moment of zen:

Also available at

A few tidbits:
- We have a new backseat driver in the car. "I see a stop sign", "Red means stop", "watch out".
- Progress on his understanding of a-DORA-ble:
  E: "You are a-dora-ble."
A (last month): "No, Dora is on the TV!" 
A (now): "No, I am cute!"
- Ambroise starts to have his opinions
  E: "Is Ambroise Nice?"
A: "Yes"
E: "Is Ambroise little?"
A: "Yes"
E: "Is Ambroise a good boy?"
A: "Yes"
E: "Is Mommy nice?"
A: "Yes"
E: "Is Mommy a good mom?"
A: "Yes"
E: "Is Mommy beautiful?"
A: "No, you just Mommy."
  Gontran comes back from work. Ambroise runs to him:
A: "iPad?"
G: "Donne-moi un bisou."
A: "iPad?"
G: "Qu'est-ce-que tu preferes? Papa ou l'iPad?" (What do you prefer? Papa or the iPad?)
A: "iPad!"

The next day, Ambroise enjoys his candy cane:
G: "Qu'est-ce-que tu preferes? Papa ou la cane a sucre?" (What do you prefer? Papa or the candy cane?)
A: "Candy cane!"
- A few days later, Ambroise loves his papa again... Papa has played a new iPad game with him.
- Ambroise is now able to remember through the nap
  E: "First Ambroise takes a nap, then papa comes home."
A's first words, just waking up: "Papa home?"


Valentines - home made, of course!

Tea party

Bon Papa came to visit! We put him straight to work. Irene's damage was far worse than visible.
Then off to Boston

Time for the 7th Grade dance! The girls are ready but the boys are avoiding the camera....

Ambroise already plays belote
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Yann came for a quick visit 

A few tidbits:
- Ambroise now makes full complex sentences like "My blue gloves are in my yellow coat", or simply nods with his head with a "Yep". Needless to say, he can also nod the No with his head! He can articulate events in the day like "First we go to pre-school, then we go to grocery store, then we go to Gymboree".
- Ambroise makes facial expressions in front of the mirror.
- He can sing 7 songs: Twinkle Twinkle, Zum Zum, Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels On The Bus, ABC, Jingle Bells, Ba Ba Black Sheep.


We took a quick night away to an indoor water resort


NYC in the spring

Planting seeds   

A few tidbits:
- Ambroise simulates the plane with his spoonful, and feeds himself!
- Ambroise is now able to remember also through the night.  
  E: "Tomorrow we go to NYC with papa."
A's first words, just waking up: "We go to NYC with papa?" 
- "What are you talking about? It's wake up time!", "Theo, don't bug me.", "The buildings are so high!"