Royalty and statesmen

As the girls adjust to life in the White House, Michelle Obama is determined to keep them grounded by adhering to the rules which applied when they lived in Chicago. Bed time is still 8pm, they must set their alarms and get themselves up for school and still clean their own rooms, make their beds and clear away their dishes
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And the youngsters will soon have another responsibility, namely walking their new dog, which will arrive in April. Their mum revealed the breed of the new family addition this week it's to be a Portuguese Water Dog. The medium-sized pooches have become popular in recent years as they don't shed hair

Chores still part of home life for Mr Obama's girls Malia and Sasha

27 FEBRUARY 2009
Their dad Barack Obama's new role means Malia and Sasha have been thrust into the spotlight, invited on Hanna Montana and had dolls made in their likeness. Mum Michelle Obama is determined, however, that their daughters will stay grounded when it comes to their home life.

Despite the army of White House household staff at their beck and call, Malia ten, and Sasha, seven, still make their own beds, clean their rooms, and clear their own dishes away. Bed time is still 8pm, and they still set their alarm clocks and get themselves up for school in the morning.

And even though their 71-year-old grandmother Marian Robinson, who is staying in a third-floor guest room, helps out, the girls must each do their bit.

Michelle has asked that White House workers don't do too much. "People want to make your life easy, and when you have small kids I've explained this to the staff they don't need their lives to be easy," she explains. "They're kids."

The youngsters will soon have an extra responsibility to add to their chores - looking after and walking their new dog. Mum Michelle has revealed the breed of the First Pet - it's to be a Portuguese Water Dog. The new addition to the family will arrive in April. Names have been discussed too, with Moose and Frank as the current favourites.

As the Obamas adjust to life in the White House, the exiting President George Bush and his wife Laura have been settling into their new home in the Preston Hollow section of Dallas. The couple are enjoying the slower pace of life says Laura, though they are still a bit short of furniture.

"We don't have a kitchen table or a dining room table," she reveals. "Friends loaned me a kitchen table and the other night I had 16 people for dinner and I had to borrow chairs from the Secret Service next door."

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