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A Great New Look

Haircuts, renovations and more!

By Alex McCord

Hello everyone! I recently hopped back onto the website and was amazed to see how many people are still reading and leaving comments - thank you! I thought I'd put together a new blog with some updates.

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So much has happened since we filmed the show, and since the reunion as well. We're in the middle of renovations, as you know, and I got a call from a breathless Simon this morning to say that the contractors, in pulling sheetrock off the walls, uncovered a section of wood paneling that looks like it might be original. I can't wait to get home tonight to see it, though it'll be late as we're out at two events tonight. It has been a long and ongoing process to strip off all the layers of paint, linoleum, sheetrock and more, but all that stuff has been protecting the original detail which is in great condition underneath!

Spring is a great time to make changes, and they aren't limited to the house. Jill hinted that we did something very exciting as a group last week. And may I say that there was a fabulous, world-renowned hairdresser there who took scissors to my hair and I couldn't be happier with the result! And it's not just Mom having all the fun - François has a great new look too. For about a month he'd asked me if he could shave his head, which was slightly horrifying, and then he changed his tune to ask for a short haircut (cue the parental high-five.) After a weekend of putting him in front of the mirror, pulling all his hair back and showing him what he'd look like, he was ready. The whole family loves it! Stay tuned for a repeat performance with Johan... alex_boys_coney_island_320x240.jpg

Though we only filmed the show last summer and fall, time really does fly. We took the boys to Coney Island for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and when fans of the show stopped us they mistook Johan for François - yes, kids really do grow that fast! Johan is a force to be reckoned with, and can't wait to start preschool in September. Our au pair is back in France, and we made the decision to bring a nanny on board instead of replacing her. The au pair program worked very well for us when I worked from home. With me now out of the house 50+ hours a week, we needed a professional who knows boys and raised her own son, and we've been ecstatic with the level of peace in our house. Also, after three years of having three different au pairs living with us, it's nice to have just the four of us living in our home. François immediately petitioned to move into her room, which he decorated with his school artwork and loves.

Simon's Mum is planning a trip from Australia to New York - a nice extended trip around the world after the emotional upheaval of last year. We're also planning our next trip to Australia in 2009, which will mark the very first time that all the van Kempen children and all 8 grand children are together (as we're currently scattered across Europe, the States and Africa.)

Hope everyone has a great Mother's Day weekend!

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