A warm November is the sign of a bad Winter – or so they say…

We are two weeks closer to Christmas and I still have no presents or indeed made any effort towards purchasing them.  Nothing new there then (although I have looked on Play and Amazon and bought stuff for myself -it’s a start!).  It is with this in mind that I now start a 10 day break from my place of employment.  I hesitate to use the word work, as Christmas shopping, visiting friends and relatives, preparing the house for Christmas and looking after the children is also work, I just don’t get any money for that!

So, again since this write up comes on the back of a couple of busy couple of weeks at work so you must forgive the brevity of amusing ancedotes and photos.  It has become more of a discipline for me to continue with the updates when I am busy and not let the impetuous slip for as you will notice I have seriously missed the target this year in terms of updates and am currently only averaging 12.85 days between writes ups as opposed to 11.41 days last year and 11.77 days the year before.  OK enough of the geekiness and back to the task in hand. 

So with the 25th December less than a month away it is all geared to getting ready for the big day and Éowyn is, probably for the first time fully comprehending the idea of Christmas, i.e that Santa brings you presents not the religious aspect of the year.  We are trying to temper the fact that she will get what ever she wants and the incessant stream of advertising aimed at children is not helping and the phrase ‘I want one of those,’ is heard umpteen times a day.  However, it is giving us the opportunity to use the notion of Santa to our advantage.  ‘If you are not a good girl then Santa will not bring you any pressies‘, although in fairness to Éowyn we have not had to say that to her that much because she has been relatively well behaved.  We haven’t resorted to the tactics of friends of ours who pretend to call Father Christmas whenever their child misbehaves and asks him to take away a present.  We’ll save that for when we need to wheel out the big guns.

We are, however, trying to use the notion of Santa in an attempt to stop Éowyn from sucking her thrumb.  She has always been a thumb sucker.  The nurses in the ICU at St. Peters tried to encourage us to give Éowyn a dummy when she was born (it seems to be one of the factors in preventing cot death) but, much to our relief, Éowyn kept spitting it out and so never had a dummy.  Thus her comfort became her thumb, which is handy in some ways (never gets lost!) but at the age of three we feel that it is high time that she stopped, at least during the day.  So, the power of Santa is being invoked by trying to convince her that only babies suck their thumb so if she is sucking her thumb then Santa will think that she is a baby and therefore only bring her baby presents and not big girl presents.  Will it work?  Watch and wait.

Amélie, obviously, is oblivious to it all.  As indeed she is oblivious to the fact that her parents need more than 3 hours continuous sleep.  Amélie doesn’t seem to understand the notion of a good night’s sleep and the best we can ever expect is to be woken at 0500.  It is starting to get a little tiresome after 14 months!  We had initially hoped to be able to move Amélie into Éowyn’s room earlier this year but until she sleeps through the night we are of the opinion that it is unfair on Éowyn that unfortunately means she is still in with us.  However, now that Lucinda is back at work it is becoming more important to train her, if not to sleep, then not to scream like she is being murdered when she wakes in the small wee hours of the morning. 

In the daytime Amélie is completely different and a little cutie with a very different personality to Éowyn.  She is much more of a mommy’s girl than ÉowynÉowyn was, and indeed still is, a daddy’s girl which, considering the amount of work that Lucinda does for her, much be frustrating for mommy.  Amélie has redressed that but it can be equally frustrating for Lucinda as Amélie will follow her around incessantly, hanging onto the back of her legs whenever she has her back towards her.  As if to illustrate this Amélie’s favourite word (not that she has that many at the moment) is ‘mommy‘.  She can also say ‘daddy‘ and what sounds like ‘big sister‘ (much to Éowyn’s delight) among others but it is ‘mommy‘ that she constantly mutters.  However, in the last few days that has been replaced with a new favourite: sneezing!  She sits there pretending to sneeze.  She then looks at you and gives a cheeky grin.  You can start her off by saying ‘Bless you‘ and off she goes.

Amélie still has not taken her first unfettered steps.  She spends a lot of her time on her legs cruising along the furniture but has not yet attempted to let go of the sofa and walk across the room.  If you hold her hands to encourage her to walk she just sits down refusing to entertain the idea.  This is probably down to a number of reasons:  there really is no need at the moment: she is the Usain Bolt of crawling and can cross the room in a blink of the eye; her sister will carry toys for her so she can concentrate on crawling and the wooden floor is more slippery than carpet so probably doesn’t install confidence when taking those first steps.  We’ll see if we can encourage her to make that next stage before Christmas; another of the items on the list for the week off. 

So with that in mind I will leave you with this one thought.  This apparently has been one of the warmest Novembers on record and one of the mildest Autumns on record (for the UK) and apparently the old weather lore states that: ‘A warm November is the sign of a bad winter’ (hence the title of this write up) as does the similar pearl of wisdom ‘Flowers bloomin’ in late Autumn a sure sign of a bad winter comin’ (not sure if that second statement is supposed to rhyme but if it is, it is a bad one, if it doesn’t they why does it look like they have tried to make it rhyme?).  I have no empirical data to back up either of these statements, or indeed if they relate to great swathes of the world or just to a small town just outside of Scunthorpe (Winterton, perchance?) but I thought that I would throw it into the public domain and test it this winter.  Obviously it will prove nothing either way but perhaps 30 years of study and a supercomputer (or at least a piece of paper and a propelling pencil) will, so come back to me in 2041 and I will let you know.

Enjoy the photos

Peace and love