Superstar and new shoes!

So you hadn’t had an update for weeks and then, in the manner of buses, three come along in a short time.  See, I am trying to make up for my poor showing in 2014 as well as regale the happenings of the Bagnall clan.  I hope that this meets with your approval.

If you cast your mind back to before the solar panels write up to the first of this trilogy of write ups you will recall that it was Easter holidays.  You also may recall that at the beginning of last term I made a promise with Éowyn.  She would receive an item of her choosing from the Disney store (an Elsa dress that we are still waiting for stock in her size to return to the Disney store) if she managed to achieve superstar status five times during the term.  She made that target before half term and so as a Dad of my word she will receive an Elsa dress, assuming that Disney ever manage to restock.

I was not foolish enough to make the same deal for the last term and I am glad that I didn’t!  Éowyn returned to school on a Tuesday.  In the four days of that first week she achieved superstar status every day and topped it all with the weekly award that she received in morning assembly before the entire school.  It was confirmed with a note in the school newsletter and a certificate.  I could not allow that achievement to go unrewarded and so there is yet another trip to the local Disney store planned to choose another prize.  Actually it will be the same trip, she will just pick up two prizes.  Not sure how long this encouragement can go on, either Éowyn will get bored and the incentive will no longer work, or I will be bankrupt.  Buy Disney shares!

Éowyn’s superstar statuses this week were based on reading and writing.  She moved up a level with her reading and is now where the majority of reception class children should be at the end of their first school year and her writing is coming along in leaps and bounds.  She is encouraged to write and not to worry about the spelling at the moment, it is all about getting the ideas down.  An approach many adults still have judging by their Facebook statuses.  Éowyn’s class have recently been learning about ‘People who help us’.  This has included firefighters, nurses, police officers and vets.  Then they have to write about the people who had come into see them.  So for the police officer she wrote a report about a thief that had been apprehended, so far so normal, but that was part one, he then absconded from gaol and was eventually recaptured.  She is finally using the imagination she uses everyday to make up games in her writing.

For the subject of her nurse story she related she relied more on memory than imagination.  A couple of weeks ago she decided that she would try a lift AmélieAmélie wriggled and Éowyn lost her balance and fell backwards.  Amélie landed on Éowyn’s head and there were tears.  After the usual cuddles and checks to see if they were OK, Éowyn complained that her ear hurt.  There was nothing obvious so we slightly dismissed it.  However as the evening drew on the pain was getting more intense and she began to cry with the pain.  Thinking that she may have done so serious damage I took her to the walk-in clinic in Ashford.  After a short wait the on-duty nurse looked into her ear with anotoscope and said that she could see some swelling but nothing to be concerned about.  She asked if Éowyn had a cold, which she had, and said that the impact had probably bruised the one side of her ear while the cold was putting pressure on the other side.  She suggested that we Calpol her up and wait for the swelling to go down and to return if it wasn’t becoming less painful.  Éowyn received a sticker for being brave and returned home fine.  The Calpol did its job and the incident gave Éowyn inspiration for her nurse’s story.

Éowyn is not the only one who has received a sticker for being brave at the nurses.  Both Amélie and Ezra have had stickers in the last week or so.  Both were due booster jabs so as Lucinda and I were both off we decided to get them both done at the same time.  I would hold Amélie and Lucinda would hold Ezra.  As with Éowyn two years before we forewarned Amélie that the injections would feel like a scratch and may hurt a little but if she was a brave girl she could choose something from the Disney store (I did tell you to buy shares!).  As an added incentive Ezra would be in the same room and she would have to be brave for him.  I know what you are thinking cruel parents!

Amélie was incredibly brave, she didn’t cry, only winced when the first one went in and whimpered a little on the second one.  In complete contrast to Éowyn who screamed the place down when she had hers.  After receiving her stickers (one for each arm) we said that it was Ezra’s turn.  Amélie then said that she didn’t want to see Ezra have his so I took her back to the waiting room, while Lucinda held Ezra.  Again Ezra was brave (he must have seen how brave his sister was).  He didn’t make a sound on the first, whimpered a little on the second but the third was a bit of a shock and then he cried but not for long.  So the girls are now inoculation free until secondary school while Ezra will have his last set in about two years time.

So what else has been keeping me from this website?

There have been a lot of housey things.  With the recent fine weather we have been able to get into the garden and use my new toy (a self propelled petrol lawnmower).  We have also begun our new hobby (if you can call it that) growing our own vegetables.  Three rows of potatoes are growing nicely, as is a double row of green beans (because I don’t get enough of them at work!).  Unfortunately my strawberry plants have been dug up and taken by culprits unknown (although my suspicion lies squarely with the local squirrel population).  We have a row of herbs starting to grow and our pumpkin plants are nearly ready to make the move outside.  We also have some bunny tail grass and sunflowers for decoration and half a dozen tomato plants.  Not exactly the self-sufficient lifestyle à la Tom and Barbara but it is a start with relatively low maintenance crops that even we should be able to get something.  It is also nice for the girls to see where food comes from and give them more reason to eat the produce when we come to harvest.  Fingers crossed that they will taste nice too.

The other addition to the garden is the wendy house from the last place.  It is actually about 11 years old bought by Nanny and Granddad for Lauren (and Maddie).  They have outgrown it so we inherited it and not only has it lasted pretty well for the decade or so it has been built three times (by Granddad) so it is doing well.  Just needs a lick of paint and it is good to go, not that has stopped them so far.  Even Ezra has been inside.

Ezra has also had an eventful time he has increased his vocabulary by one word: ‘that’.  This word is used ubiquitously in conjunction with the pointed index finger.  If he sees something that he wants, anything that he wants, even if he knows he is not allowed to have it, the finger straightens, he looks you in the eye and ‘that’.  It is the only word he needs.  We have tried to get him to say ‘ta’ when he is given something.  Not interested.  ‘That!’  He has also learned to wave goodbye, whether you are going or not.  Probably linked to not giving him ‘that’.

We have also bought him his first pair of shoes.  He was spending so much time on his feet holding against things, that we thought that if we bought him some shoes it might encourage him to walk.  When standing he also tends to tiptoe.  Primarily so that it gives him a little more reach to get hold of ‘that’, but it is also one of the stages that little go through before they start to walk.  So we also hoping that with the shoes he would not be able to tiptoe so easily and encourage him to use the whole of his foot.  We are still waiting.

Amélie also had new shoes (a trip to Clarks cost us a fortune!).  Her feet had grown very quickly up over two sizes, how she had managed to squeeze her feet into those shoes for so long we will never know.  It will be Éowyn’s  turn next with new school shoes a must over the summer.

So another season draws to a close, West Bromwich Albion survived (just) and now the hard work of the Summer begins.  Usually the off-season is quite quiet for me, last season that was not the case and neither will it be this season.  The  Summer will see the transfer of Premier League Productions under the bosom of Stockley Park and all the testing and installation to go with that.  There is also a World Cup (of men’s football), Wimbledon and The Open Golf Championship.  I have got to try and squeeze in some vacation among all that.  Hopefully I will have enough time to keep you abreast of our little family unit.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this trilogy of updates and I promise not to leave it so long next time.  Don’t forget to have a look at our Flickr page (link on the right hand side) there are a few hundred new photos.

Peace and Love