A second update in just over a week, I’m trying to make amends for the lack of activity in 2013 thus far. So what warrants this activity? In a word (or two) half-term. The first half term of the year was the first half term since Nanny Fran’s retirement and the last break before Baguette number three makes his arrival. Nanny Fran therefore kindly offered to look after both girls for the week. Obviously we asked the girls if they wanted to go to Nanny Fran’s for a sleepover and the answer was an overwhelming, yes. Indeed they were excited for the entire lead up to their Black Country adventure and spoke of it constantly for at least the week beforehand. Thus, Sunday morning while Lucinda was completing her antepenultimate day of work before thirteen and a half months of holiday and maternity leave kick in, I drove the girls up the M40 and their home for the next 5 days, West Bromwich.
As is the norm these days ‘Muppets – Soundtrack’ CD was fired up and before Starship’s ‘We built this city’ had begun both girls were asleep and so I could continue with Daddy’s choice of music. As we approached West Bromwich they awoke and as I pulled up outside my childhood home both girls got out of the car all excited to see Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz and quickly made themselves at home. Since they were so settled I decided that I would head back home after lunch.
And so a week away from the girls (and a week off work) began. It was a very strange feeling and the house seemed very empty (and quiet) without them, however it did allow us to get on with all the jobs that we felt needed to be done in order to prepare the house for Baguette number three’s arrival.
So what did we do? Task one was to move the girls in together. We had decided that we wanted to move the girls in together to free up the box room ready for the new arrival, and although the need for that bedroom is at least three months away (he will be in our room for the first few months), we wanted to move them in together prior to his arrival. The reasoning behind this was to prevent his arrival being associated in the girls’ minds with a change in circumstances. Life is going to change enough with their little brother’s arrival without the loss of their individual freedoms. So, what was, Éowyn’s room was emptied and bunk beds were built and then furniture returned. This also gave us the opportunity to deep clean the entire room and organise their many toys. The beauty of the bunk bed arrangement means that they have a lot of floor space on which to play.
Although this sounds like a relatively quick job, it did take best part of the day. However we did finish early so that we could take advantage of an evening without child responsibilities and go out for a meal and actually relax in each other’s company without entertaining small ones at the same time.
The second day we spent out of the house primarily looking at cars. As previously mentioned the imminent arrival of number three means that Lucinda’s Nissan Micra was a little too small. We spent sometime researching cars back at the tail end of the summer and we poised to make the decision until Lucinda’s appendix interrupted the process. Now we had the opportunity we decided to see what was on the market. We knew the type of car we wanted: A second-hand Ford S-Max. We knew the specification that we were having, the price range we were willing to pay and the extras we expected to get. Not expecting to see the exact car we wanted we headed to a Ford dealership that we knew had a large selection of S-Maxes to put our names down and give them the specifications we were after. We looked at a number of S-Maxes and then amazingly we found one that fitted our requirements. A test drive and conversation later we put our deposit down and arranged a pick up for the following Tuesday.
Lunch beckoned and then time to make another purchase. This one not as expensive but just as important: a new mattress. After an hour or two of trying out mattresses across a number of bed showrooms before we found the one that we both felt was the most comfortable and again a conversation later we had made our purchase and we had a second successful day had been completed.
Excited about our purchase (the car) and thinking that it would be nice for the girls to talk to their parents we decided to ‘Facetime’ (other videtelephony software is available) the girls. Unfortunately that was a bad idea and one we will not repeat should they stay with Nanny Fran in the future. Both girls became very upset and insisted they wanted to come home. This in turn upset us, even though we knew that they were fine, but their upset continued into the night which caused Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz to have less sleep than they are used to.
The remainder of the week was spent getting plastic boxes of new born clothes and toys out of the loft and cleaning the house from top to bottom. Lucinda is in full nesting mode something that is very difficult to accomplish when there are small ones running around and preventing full nesting behaviour.
Friday was Lucinda’s penultimate day at work and the day that I picked our little ones up and they got to see their bunk beds for the first time. But more of that in a later write up. But what did the girls get up to in West Bromwich? If you ask Éowyn then it was nothing. Whenever Éowyn has been anywhere and you ask her about it and what she has done the answer is always nothing. ‘Éowyn, what did you do at school today?‘ ‘Nothing.‘ ‘Éowyn, what did you do with Mommy today?‘ ‘Nothing.‘ So we found out off Nanny Fran.
As I mentioned at the start of this write up Éowyn and Amélie ran into Nanny Fran’s house all excited on the Sunday morning. They made themselves at home almost immediately getting their toys out and settling in for the week. Then Amélie put her toys and they she went up to Auntie Liz and asked for her nails to be painted. Auntie Liz obliged and so I was surplus to requirements.
The next day Auntie Liz had taken the day off work and so the four of them headed off on an adventure to Hatton Adventure Farm at Hatton Country World. They spent the best part of the day there playing in the various playgrounds and visiting the farm animals. There is even a petting zoo and the girls got the chance to hold a Guinea Pig. Amélie was apparently the more bold of the two, volunteering to hold the rodent but Éowyn took some convincing, and would only stroke it so as not to allow her younger sister the upper hand.
Tuesday saw Auntie Liz at work and so Nanny Fran had them both to herself. So Tuesday’s adventure was contained to the town of West Bromwich. They paid money into their bank accounts and headed to Nanny Fran’s erstwhile workplace. Again the girls were very well behaved but again Amélie was more bold than her elder sister greeting all of Nanny Fran’s ex-colleagues and even kissing them good bye as they left.
Auntie Liz took Wednesday off so Nanny Fran had support for the second day of the week and more adventures were had including a trip West Bromwich’s Dartmouth Park. So Éowyn’s summary of ‘nothing‘ as you can see was somewhat misleading. In addition to the adventures there were visitors to Nanny Fran’s house and visits to various friends in West Bromwich including a trip to see Great Grandma.
I am not sure who enjoyed the trip to West Bromwich the most the girls or Nanny Fran. Neither am I sure who was the most tired after the week in West Bromwich the girls or Nanny Fran. It was unfortunate that the weather particular wintry (it is winter) which meant that there weren’t too many attractions open and also it was a little too cold to spend too much outside (for Nanny Fran as much as the girls!). Therefore when it warms up a little and Nanny Fran has had a chance to recover the girls will have to go up for another extended visit. This will appease the girls since they were very upset to leave Nanny Fran’s and didn’t particularly want to come back home (that’s a nice thing for us to hear – we are only their parents!).
So Lucinda is now on maternity leave and the countdown is nearing its conclusion therefore stand by for the big news in the next week or so.
Peace and Love