The turn of another year

And so we are here at the turn of another year (that has a certain poetic quality – I like it).  It is just over a fortnight since the last update (the Christmas message notwithstanding) and it seems like an eternity since then.  Obviously there has been the snow, Amélie’s continued feeding issues and the little matter of Christmas.

This update is a little belated and becomes the first in 2011 rather than the last in 2010 due to the fact that I have been struck down with ‘flu.  Now a lot of people say that they have a touch of ‘flu but from my experience over the last couple of days there is no such thing as a touch of ‘flu.  I basically haven’t managed to get out of bed for days, I haven’t eaten a meal for 5 days, every single part of my body has ached.  If the house had been on fire I do not think I would have had the inclination to have got out the house, I have been that lethargic.  Even the sound of Lucinda playing with the girls wasn’t enough to make me want to get out of bed.  My fear has been passing it on to the girls and Lucinda.  Lucinda did develop a heavy cold but managed to shake it before it turned into whatever I had, and so far the girls have colds but again relatively mild.  Let us hope it stays that way.

Back to the update:  The Saturday after the last update the UK got hit by another deluge of snow (we should be getting used to this by now).  About 4 inches or so fell in about an hour in our little corner of the country, far more in other parts.  Due to the speed of the deluge Heathrow airport struggled to cope with the de-icing of the planes and the clearing of the runway.  This was unfortunate for the people trying to catch a flight and the people that work at the airport as someone that lives not that far from the south runway the fact that there were no flights for the best part of 4 days was bliss.

We took full advantage of the snow on that Saturday and introduced Éowyn to the joys of building snowmen and having a snowball fight.  She seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself, which is in stark contrast to the snows at the beginning of the year when she was perhaps a little too young to appreciate it and just complained that it was cold.  Unfortunately the snow prevented two pre-Christmas meet ups that weekend due to the icy roads and the weather stayed below freezing for over a week, which meant that the snow that fell on the 18th was still about on the 25th.  For the most part it was ice which meant that it was quite often safer to drive than try and take your life in your hands on the pavements, especially around the village.

This meant we spent more of the time in the house in that week leading up to Christmas which meant that Éowyn spent a little more time watching DVDs.  One day she sat a watched Toy Story, followed by Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, then said “Toy Story 4 please, Mommy.” Lucinda explained that there wasn’t a Toy Story 4.  “Then go to the shops and get one!” So Mr Disney and Mr Pixar if you are listening there is a little girl who wants another Toy Story film.

Éowyn has also developed a penchant for opening the front door to visitors.  In fact she can get quite upset if she is not allowed to open the door.  Obviously we have to watch her to make sure that she is not just inviting any Tom, Dick or Harry in but most of the time we let her do so.  I assume that is it some kind of control, that she is controlling her environment and I have no problems with her being our little gatekeeper.  She also likes to open the door when we are leaving the house.  So one frosty morning before Christmas it was not unusual for Éowyn to insist on opening the door for me.  As I stepped outside, she shut the door.  As I was halfway down the path I heard her little voice say ‘Bye, Bye Daddy.’  I turned round to return the farewell but also to tell her to shut the door as it was bitingly cold but the door was shut.  However the letterbox was open and a pair of blue eyes were looking at me through the gap.  I waved goodbye and went to work with a smile in my step.

Amélie is still causing us worry.  She seemed a lot happier on her artificial milk and we thought that all was going well however when Kate (the Health Visitor) came to weigh her, she still had not put on the correct amount of weight and was still concerned about the amount of reflux that she has.  So Kate got us a prescription for another artificial milk, Neocate (as opposed to the Nutramigen that she has been on) and suggested that we see our GP to obtain a referral to a Paediatrician as it is possibly more that just Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance.

So Christmas Eve we saw our GP who has prescribed a dual concoction of Domperidone and Ranitidine as this would be the first point of call for the Paediatrician it would save us a couple of weeks of treatment.  So that is where we are at the moment.  Domperidone is given help keep the entrance to the stomach closed to prevent reflux, it also promotes emptying of the stomach contents quicker.  Ranitidine is used to inhibit stomach acid production.  We are yet to see if this is the winning formula.

Despite her obvious discomfort Amélie is still a happy baby.  She is very alert and enjoys sitting on your lap looking around at what is going on.   She will hold your hand and coo and gurgle at you.  Nothing is a heart-warming as when you little one first smiles, and although Amélie has been doing that for a while now when she returns your smile the feeling is not diminished.  Let’s hope we can sort this reflux out so that we can see a lot more of them.

Now to the big event.  Éowyn woke on Christmas morning to a stocking full of pressies hanging at the side of her bed and two piles on the floor.  Obviously Santa thought that she had been a very good girl over the past year.  Although she is beginning to understand the notion of Christmas the good thing was that she still doesn’t have the excitement factor and so was still asleep at 0900 Christmas morning.  How many more years is that going to happen?

Christmas lunch was around Lucinda’s parents with Lucinda’s brothers and their families, so all the Grandchildren were together on Christmas day, which is lovely to see because they all get on so well together, even if Éowyn is a little bit bossy with them.  It was a nice Christmas present from Lucinda’s parents, too: cooking Christmas dinner for us, so we could concentrate on the kids without having to juggle kitchen duties!

Boxing day I was back at work, so the festive break for me were a little short, but then we are used to that as a family, working in two of the industries that don’t stop for holidays.

Then it was Christmas number 2.  Up to Nanny’s Fran’s for a more presents and more Christmas dinner.  Nanny Fran gave us a nice Christmas present too, which was a night off as she looked after Amélie (and Éowyn) overnight.  Both my sisters were at Mom’s so it was the Bagnalls together for a couple of days.  Éowyn loves her Nanny Fran and aunties and kept them entertained (and busy) even though it was such a short visit.

As I have mentioned in an earlier update.  My sister Mary has broken her elbow.  During the first bout of cold weather at the end of November she slipped on ice and landed on her elbow.  This means that, among other things, she is unable to drive.  So she hitched a lift back home with us.  Now although I have a mid-sized car, with two car seats in the back it doesn’t leave a lot of room for passengers.  Luckily we squeezed her in and headed home as my body started to succumb to the symptoms of ‘flu.

Considering my deteriorating condition and the patches of fog we made it home safe and in good time only to find a theft had occurred.  OK, perhaps that it is a little over-dramatic but when we left there was a covering of snow on the grass and at the edges of the paths when people had cleared cars and tracks through the snow, yet when we got back you would have never have know that it had snowed at all.  The snow had been taken and replaced by mucky rain.  Makes it all look a little dirty and dreary as opposed to the snow that tends to make everywhere look bright and pretty.  Turn your back for five minutes…

The remainder of the year saw me in bed ill, and on New Year’s Eve myself and Lucinda Lemsiped up and went to bed at 2100.  Fortunately the few fireworks that were in the area were not enough to rouse Éowyn and we had a relatively peaceful night.

So maybe a little belated but an epic so apologies and all there is left for me to do is to wish you all a very Happy 2011

Happy New Year