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


Merry Christmas

To all our Friends and Family,

Thank you for all your Love and Support throughout 2010 and here’s to an even better year in 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Love from

The Bagnalls

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas love from Éowyn and Amélie

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?

Ten points in the Christmas pop trivia quiz for anyone that knows which Christmas ditty the title is from.  Well done, treat yourself to a mince pie and a nip of your favourite Christmas tipple!

This is more than likely the last update before Christmas as I still have Christmas shopping to do and Christmas cards to write, although the Bagnall Christmas message will automatically appear at noon on the 23rd December 2010 and I will try to squeeze a full update in before the New Year to give you all a post-Christmas debrief.

I may still have cards to write and shopping to do, but the tree is up and decorated and Christmas dinner is organised (thanks Nan and Granddad!).  At least Amélie has something that Éowyn never had for her first Christmas: a Christmas tree.  If you cast your mind back to December 2008, we were so disorganised that by the time we came to buy our tree there were none, so poor Éowyn spent her first Christmas treeless.  It doesn’t seem to have affected her and to be fair this is the first year that she has begun to understand that there is something going on and it is likely to be favourable.

We have been trying to introduce Éowyn to the ideas of Christmas (from a secular rather than religious point of view) and as part of that she has her first chocolate advent calendar (a Peppa Pig one) and a Christmas stocking to hang on her bedpost on Christmas Eve.  She likes the Christmas Tree and the various Christmas ornaments that have made their way down from the loft and we have been reading a number of Christmas stories (although not The Christmas Story) and keep telling her that Santa will bring her presents if she is a good girl.  Next it is Christmas songs, bring out the Slade!  Not sure which of the above is the worst.

You will be pleased to know that although Toy Story 3 is still a firm favourite Éowyn will now ask for Shrek, The Lion King and Little Mermaid.  Now we have broken the Toy Story monopoly hopefully we can introduce a number of other films from my extensive collection.  Interestingly I am sure that she is starting to play with her dolls and stuffed animals more since watching Toy Story.  It is perhaps a case of fiction leading reality that somehow a film made from a childlike imagination is sparking the imagination of my child.  I quite like that.

As I mentioned in my last update, Amélie has been diagnosed with Cows Milk Protein Intolerance.  This has not been clinically proven but since we have switched to the milk powder substitute she has seemed a lot happy and will down her bottle of milk in minutes.  Confirmation that it seems to be having a positive effect came from her latest weigh-in which, although she is not creeping up the centile chart, she has at least followed the centile line that she is currently on.  In plain English, she has put on the expected amount of weight this week for the first time in a month.  It is more than likely that it will be after Christmas before we see the dietician but our greater worry is ensuring that we have enough milk powder to see us through the festive period.  We are putting pressure on the doctor to prescribe surplus so that we don’t have to keep returning to the them each week.

In light of the reduced pain that she must be in, Amélie has definitely become more alert and is smiling more often.  She likes to sit on her daddy’s lap watching the telly, like Éowyn used to (and indeed still does).  Although this does bring out the little green-eyed monster in  Éowyn who has to sit next to us on the sofa.  I have no problem with that though and it is quite nice to sit on the sofa watching a film with both daughters snuggling into their dad.  I’m just a big old softie!

Lucinda and I both find we are bonding more with Amélie, especially since we are now getting more sleep (me more that Lucinda) and the fact that the little mite is interacting more with us.  She seems to really enjoy smiling and returns a smile from you with a toothless one of her own.  How quick you forget this stage (and all of the early ones) and before you know it they are running around and causing different kinds of mischief.  Each stage is wonderful in its own way but I think that Éowyn is at a perfect age at the moment, especially coupled with her intelligence making her a joy to spend the day with.  Without wishing Amélie’s life away it will be good when they can both play together.  I imagine that Éowyn will try to mother her.

Last week I was struck down with the norovirus.  Well, Lucinda had it first and then I caught it off her.  Along with the usual symptoms I was running a temperature and my body ached, so I took myself off to bed.  Éowyn wondering where Daddy is, wanders upstairs.  I am asleep under the duvet when I am woken by a giggles and Éowyn sitting under the duvet next to my head.  ‘Shh,’ she says, ‘We’re in a camp.’  Even when you are feeling sorry for yourself that is funny!  Lucinda came upstairs looking for her and she whispers to me: ‘Shh, daddy.  We’re hiding from Mommy.’   Definitely makes you feel better.

Well those Christmas cards won’t write themselves so I will bid you adieu.  Pop by if you can for the Christmas wishes on the 23rd and I will aim to do an update around the 29th/30th.  I trust that you all have a fabulous Christmas and if I don’t see you before see you in 2011.

Love and Peace