A week off goes so fast!

I’m sure that someone has got my life on fast forward at the moment, I barely seem to have 5 minutes to myself these days.  However when you try to analyse what exactly I have been doing, it doesn’t sound a lot.  Although you have to say that I am doing well with this updating lark!

So what have we done with my week off?  The weekend saw us pop up to West Bromwich to visit Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz.  I woke up Saturday morning with a sore left eye that took at least half an hour before it felt 100%.  No reason, seemingly just one of those things.  So, after loading the car we were about an hour behind the time we were aiming to leave (isn’t that always the case with children anyhow?). However, as I was lifting Éowyn into her car seat, she was transferring her book from one hand to the other and managed to drag the edge of one of the pages across my eyeball.  Effectively giving me a papercut on the eyeball.  It did hurt!  I was unable to open the eye or stem the streaming tears for about 3 hours, so Lucinda had to drive my car up the M40 (OK for accuracy:  the M25, M40, M42, M5) to the Black Country.

We arrived safely and spent a couple of days relaxing with Nanny Fran.  Well, relaxing for Lucinda and me but perhaps not so much for Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz.  We also took Éowyn for her first ‘proper’ haircut.  Lucinda and I have trimmed her hair on a number of occasions but only to keep the fringe out of her eyes.  Her hair looks quite good as it is, with her long loose curls so we didn’t want too much taken off, only to give her a decent fringe so that her hair wasn’t in her eyes.  Nanny Fran was already booked to have her hair done at her friend’s salon so it was a good excuse to take Éowyn.  Considering it was Éowyn’s first time in a hairdressers and the first time she had met Janet she was remarkably good and Janet managed to trim her fringe nicely.  It did take a bit of time to coax her into the chair (on daddy’s lap) but as the place was quiet Janet had the time to win her trust so hopefully next time it will not be so difficult.  The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and a good night’s sleep sorted my eye out and I was fine to drive home on Sunday evening.

Amélie seems much more settled of late, so perhaps the bottle thing is working.  Which is allowing us, but Lucinda especially, to feel somewhat normal.  However we are far from being a 100% there and a couple of days she has been unsettled and then Thursday night (first night after going back to work) she did not settle until 0500.  I think she knew that I had to work the next day and therefore could really annoy mommy!

We have been feeling a little guilty over Amélie.  I think as a parent, the midwife hands you the baby and a whole bucketload of guilt.  Being raised a Catholic I am used to carrying guilt about but that of a parent is something different.  Everything you do, or don’t do you have half a thought in your head that you are doing your child harm.  So it is with Amélie.  With Éowyn we had time to devote to her; she was the entire focus of our attention and everything was new.  With Amélie we do not have the luxury of devoting our entire attention to her because we have to balance that attention with that we give Éowyn.  So at the moment we are going through the guilt that we are not doing as much with Amélie as we did with Éowyn at the same stage.

Nevertheless Amélie is doing well.  The bottle feeding seems to be helping and although not entirely a contented baby is significantly more settled than before and we are getting more sleep.  Although the first day back to work was met with a disturbed night until she finally succumbed to sleep at 0500.

Amélie has also begun to smile.  You are never sure at first whether it is wind or whether a genuine smile, b ut now she responds to your smile with one of her own, definitive proof that she is smiling.  She also has very strong legs and will push herself off you.  She also moves herself around a little.  It is all coming back to us.

Éowyn has been very good with her and always wants to be involved, however when Amélie is feeding, Éowyn becomes jealous.  This tends to happen when it is just Lucinda in with the girls, as when I am about Éowyn is obviously getting attention from me (or Lucinda – for now we are on bottles I can do some of the feeding).  The jealousy manifests itself as hitting and hair-pulling, which is very strange as Éowyn is so loving at all other times.  It is a well recognised phase that they go through and something we have to deal with, without making a deal out of it.

Granddad’s 71st birthday was spent at the local Harvester, the first time that Lucinda and I had been there since June.  We avoided the scampi this time.  Amélie slept through the majority of the meal while Éowyn kept us all entertained, and a number of the fellow diners, too!

The week has also been noticeable for the Freezing fog that has been affecting us for the last week and the fact that we have tried Purple Majesty.  A variety of purple potato with its ancestry in the high reaches of the Andes (see photo of mash below).  To be honest, nice to look at but the taste is nothing special and we concluded that we much more prefer Sweet Potato mash.  We still have some left so we might try some purple jacket wedges.  What next? Red Brussels Sprouts?

Just as an aside.  Amélie is beginning to understand what it is like to be a West Bromwich Albion fan.  The euphoria of the first couple of months of this Premier League campaign is gradually being replaced by the feeling of been there, done that.  The only bright news is that Wolverhampton Wanderers are only not bottom because West Ham United are so bad!  Let’s hope they can put an end to this dip in form and remember the highs from The Emirates and Old Trafford.

Peace and love