Éowyn’s Fifth Birthday

This was meant to have been posted before we went on holiday, but life got in the way and so this post is very belated.  Apologies, but it will mean that you will possibly have 3 (if life doesn’t get in the way again) updates in the next week or so.

The second and third weeks of October were emotional, pivotal, exciting and to top it all, the week that our oldest child celebrated her fifth birthday.  Yes, five years ago we became parents when Éowyn came into our lives.  I probably write this every year and will do for years to come, but it does not seem like five minutes ago that I first held her in my arms.  So, need I explain the first sentence a little more?

Emotional – obviously with the passing of my Nan at the beginning of the week.

Exciting – My 40th birthday present and the track day in the Ariel Atom.

I have missed one haven’t I?

Pivotal – The most pleasant of the big news stories of the last couple of weeks is that we have exchanged on our new home.  The remortgage on our current home is through and so the monies can be transferred and the 10% deposit paid and the contracts can be exchanged.  We complete on the 1st November and the 5 months of an emotional rollercoster is easing into the station.  Yes, there will be the small matter of making the new place a home, no to mention the packing, moving and unpacking that we are yet to face but positive moves are afoot and we can let ourselves believe that it is actually going to happen!  But the gory details of the move will be a subject for another update what have we missed since the last update about the Bagnall household?

As you may recall from the write up entitled Amélie’s Third Birthday Éowyn’s N.C.T. group 5th birthday party was held at Alice Holt but unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to go.  Therefore with an rare Sunday off we decided to head to Alice Holt for a family day out.  To make it a little bit more fun we told my university friends Charlie and Mel hoping that their boys and our girls would have someone new to play with.  When we woke that Sunday morning the heavens had opened and it was heavily raining.  Undaunted we still headed to Alice Holt and so, too, did Charlie and Mel.  Thus the two families trudged through the rain and the mud, with wellies and waterproofs, you have to be prepared.  We headed to Charlie and Mel’s for coffee and cake before heading back home with two very tired girls.  It was good to see Charlie and Mel and hopefully we will have better weather next time we meet up.

Éowyn’s actual birthday was a little subdued.  Being a weekday she was at school.  Unfortunately we may have set a bit of a precedent with taking cakes and sweets (Éowyn’s insistence) for her classmates.  Although I was at work, I managed to get out a little early and headed to Nanny and Granddad’s for a birthday tea with Uncle Michael, Auntie Cristina and Lauren and Maddie in addition to the Bagnalls and Nanny and Granddad.  As ever she was spoilt with presents and thoroughly enjoyed her birthday cake that Nanny Fran had sent down with me earlier in the week.

Nanny Fran had planned to surprise Éowyn and come down on her birthday and stop the night.  Unfortunately with Nan’s (Great Grandma’s) passing on the Monday before Éowyn’s birthday, Nanny Fran was unable to come down as she had a lot of organising to do and Nan’s affairs to put in order.  As Éowyn didn’t know that Nanny Fran was coming down, she was not disappointed but nevertheless Nanny Fran was and so will have to make amends in a couple of weeks.

Éowyn has grown up considerably over the last couple of months and this is obviously due to school.  With half-term approaching her love of education is not diminishing.  It probably helps that she is one of the oldest children in the year and she is also gregarious and quite clever.  She has received a number of stickers for good work and two certificates for being a ‘superstar‘ the first with explaining what a repeating pattern is and the second for reading.  Yes, our little girl can now read (one of the first in the class to progress to reading – very proud parents).  She also received a certificate for perfect attendance.

This information is not just second hand, we have received it first hand from Éowyn’s teacher when we had our first ‘proper’ parents’ evening.  Miss Finbow spoke very highly of Éowyn, she said that not only is Éowyn academically bright but that she brightens the room with her presence.  She will organise games with the other children and has learned to share and think about the other children, something she has demonstrated on a number of occasions.  Miss Finbow said that there was nothing we needed to be worried about but just to continue the things we do with Éowyn to help develop her reading.  We told Miss Finbow that we would be moving shortly and so we are concerned that it may affect Éowyn and she said that she would keep a close eye on Éowyn and report if she thinks that it is having any adverse effects on our eldest.  She did say a nice thing in reply to our news though, almost pleading with us not to take Éowyn out of the school as she would miss her.

It is a shame that Amélie isn’t quite as well behaved.  She has been a little naughty (although still cute with her naughtiness) of late.  It is probably due to the upheaval in her life at the moment.  She is no longer the baby of the family, Ezra has taken that accolade.  She is going to school but only twice a week while Éowyn goes everyday.  Also Éowyn is getting a lot of praise with her school work, she has a birthday and then three weeks later Éowyn has a birthday.

This culminated in Amélie having a poo on the bathroom floor.  Not sure why she didn’t go to the toilet, or indeed the potty that was in her room but when we asked her why she had done it, she denied that it was her.  Not only did she deny that it was her but blamed an imaginary friend, not her imaginary friend but one of Éowyn’s!

In Amélie’s defence, she has been very well behaved at school (nursery) and is enjoying going which is a great turnaround considering at the beginning of September she was nearly apoplectic with the notion of going.  Now, she positively runs up the path eager to spend the day at TinyTots.

Before I leave you for the day a quick update on Ezra.  His crawling has gone from Ninja rolling to crawling backwards to zooming around the house getting under your feet.  He has also started to pull himself up on the furniture; not quite to his feet but to his knees, somehow I doubt it will not be long before he will progress to standing – then the trouble will begin.

Not the greatest selection of photos below, for which I apologise but rest assured there will be plenty uploaded to Flickr in the next week or so.

Peace and Love


The boy’s on record

I have been spoiling you of late with the frequency of updates and indeed this one is at least a day late.  There is a good reason for the delay though, I have been suffering from a cold.  Not a man cold (and certainly not man ‘flu – I would be incapacitated if it was the latter) just a heavy cold but enough of an illness that the thought of sitting down to write something just didn’t enter my bunged up head.  Nevertheless I have dragged myself before the keyboard today to get you up to speed with the latest developments at Chez Bagnall.

So what has happened since last Thursday?  The most important event is surely the fact that Ezra John Bagnall is now an official member of the UK population.  With Éowyn at school and Amélie at Nanny and Granddad’s, Lucinda, Ezra and I headed to the local registry office in Weybridge to register his birth and obtain a birth certificate.  With a birth certificate we can now open a bank account for him and obtain a passport, so quite an important day.

The snow that hit large swathes of Northern UK on Saturday completely missed our corner of the land and we woke only to a slight dusting that quickly melted.  Thus Lucinda’s trip to the midwife clinic on Saturday morning wasn’t the epic journey that we were fearing when we went to bed.  This was the final check up by the midwifery team before being discharged into the realm of the local health visitors.  The midwife was very pleased with his progress.  There was nothing that concerned them regarding his physical health and indeed they were delighted with the fact that weighing in at 4.01kg (8lbs 13oz) he had returned to his birth weight.

Although the snow has missed us it doesn’t mean that it isn’t bitterly cold.  Indeed it freezing out there and so we haven’t felt like venturing out of the house preferring others to visit us.  The lack of snow disappointed both girls (and if I am honest – me!) and indeed when I told Amélie that Nanny Fran had snow, she asked if we could go to Nanny Fran’s to build a snowman.  I explained that wasn’t possible but we facetimed Nanny Fran instead and asked her to show us her snow.  That seemed to sate the girls.  While facetiming Nanny Fran, Éowyn entertained us talking to her imaginary brother Rich.  Rich is quite often the reason she is naughty (according to Éowyn) and this Saturday morning was no different.  Nanny Fran said that she didn’t like Rich and then Éowyn just turned on Rich and said that she had had enough of him.  She then called the Police (imaginary Police obviously) and asked them to put him in jail.  A little harsh.  But she wasn’t finished.  She disappeared off to the brother shop and bought another imaginary brother also called Rich.  It is more complicated than soap opera at times (with better imagination) and takes a bit to remember all the twists and turns.  Not sure what happens when original imaginary Rich gets out of imaginary jail to find his place taken by another imaginary Rich.

Apart from imaginary brothers the girls have been relatively well behaved considering the upheaval of having a new member of the family.  They both are very affectionate towards their brother (real brother) and fight over holding him.  Amélie especially holds him at least a couple of times a day.  The length of this cuddle can vary from a couple of minutes to ten minutes or more, depending on Ezra  behaviour.  If he cries she will try and comfort him for a couple of seconds before asking you to take him off her.  The funniest is when he has the hiccups.  For some reason Amélie finds this hilarious and literally laughs uncontrollably.  It is very amusing!

So maybe not the most exciting of updates but nevertheless important stages in Ezra’s life and not the most exciting of photos below I will try harder for next time.  However a small geeky thing that most of you will not of noticed but this website has reached a new milestone as it has now received 100,000 hits.  Some of you will long memories with think haven’t we been here before?  Yes we have.  But that was 100,000 hits split over two servers, my original WordPress hosted site (still available as www.afrobaggie.wordpress.com) and the new (not so new now) privately hosted site that is www.baggieandlucy.com these 100,000 hits are purely on the latter server and are in addition to the 65,000 hits on www.afrobaggie.wordpress.com.  As I have mentioned before it maybe only a small milestone that means absolutely nothing in the real world but it feels like a justification for the amount of work that I regularly put into this site.  So thank you all for your interest in the ups and downs of our family.

Peace and love


November’s sky is chill and drear, November’s leaf is red and sear

As Autumn strengthens its grip on the land the leaves are changing colour contrasting against the uninspiring greyness that has been the colour of the sky for the last couple of weeks allow the Bagnalls to bring a little colour into your life.  We find ourselves sitting pretty between the girls’ birthdays and Christmas and for such a dull and usually monotonous period of the year it has been far from humdrum in the Bagnall household.

In the British calendar Halloween is closely following by Guy Fawkes night (or Bonfire night) on the 5th November. A date which commemorates an unsuccesful attempt at regicide and mass terrorism by Robert Gatesby and his fellow plotters, including the eponymous Guy Fawkes who was caught readying himself to light 36 barrels of gunpowder under the Houses of Parliament by a team lead by Lord Thomas Knyvet. (As an aside Lord Knyvet is quite reknown around our corner of the world, as he was granted the Manors of Stanwell and Staines and his effigy is in the chancel of Stanwell Parish church).   Bonfire and firework displays are put on throughout the country and we decided that we would try and see one this year.  Unfortunately as I was working at the weekend we had to find one that was planned for the actual date which fell on a Monday this year.

Cleves School in Weybridge appeared to be the closest display and so my friends Andy and Al joined us on a trip to Weybridge.  Hats and scarves were the order of the day as the November chill had begun and positioned ourselves at the edge of the school playing field to watch the display.  There was entertainment beforehand with halloween themed stilt-walkers and band knocking out covers of 80’s and 90’s rock favourites.  The display was not disappointing either and lasted at least half an hour.  We were very impressed, although Amélie was a little scared by the loud bangs.  There are quite a lot of firework related photos here.  I would definitely recommend Cleves School display if you are looking for a firework display next year.

It appears that holiday to Puncknowle has had two positive effects on Amélie.  The first, which in fairness was already well on its way, is the fact that she is now sleeping through the night.  This means that Lucinda and I will have 6 months of uninterrupted sleep before baguette number three makes an appearance.  It is amazing how much better you feel one you can get a good night’s sleep.  The second is a big step forward and all off her own back.

On our return from Puncknowle we decided to buy Amélie a potty and to make her involved in the decision we encouraged her to pick one, a dinosaur potty was her choice.  We put it in the lounge and thought no more.  Then Monday morning she came downstairs and refused to have a nappy on.  That was it.  No more.  Nappies in the day time are a memory.  Yes, there have been a couple of accidents but to be honest the transition to nappy-free days has been rather painless.  Yes, we do have to clap her everytime she goes for a wee, and she has even begun to take a bow when she receives the applause.

Lucinda is now back at work returning from her appendectomy and holiday.  She had to see the company doctor and has been given a gradual restart with reduced hours.  These return days have co-incided with my days off.  So with our days out of sync it means no requirements for childcare, which has been doubly useful with Amélie potty training and the fact that she has come out in spots.  Lucinda took her to the walk-in clinic (no appointments at the doctors) and the diagnosis came back as chicken pox.  Fortunately both Lucinda (and it is not good if a pregnant woman gets chicken pox) and I have both had it as children.  Éowyn has not had it so we feared the worse with both children going through it at the same time.  However, Amélie’s case has been extremely mild (thankfully) and Éowyn has not succumbed to the pox.  We have got away lightly.  This unsynchronised days off occurs in six week patterns so the next time it will happen will be Christmas week.  We both have jobs where public holidays mean nothing to whether we are at work and so it is with Christmas.  Lucinda will be working on Christmas day itself and I will be working throughout the yuletide with the exception of Christmas day.  The glamour of television.

Not that this will worry the girls too much.  Amélie is too young to understand and Éowyn will have her imaginary parents and imaginary brother to look after her on Christmas day.  Yes, Éowyn’s entourage of quasi-corporeal companions is still growing.  As mentioned above she now has imaginary parents and when they are in the room Lucinda and I become Auntie and Uncle.  As you can probably guess her imagination is well developed and her play is quite imaginative and quite regularly makes games up and even songs.  She loves to hear stories and will ask you to tell her stories about when you were a child in addition to stories from books.  Obviously she is a child of the 2010’s (whatever you call this decade) and so enjoys DVD’s and television programmes too and they all help to fire her imagination.

You may recall that in February I took Éowyn to the cinema for the first time to see the Muppets.  Like her father before her she instantly became a fan.  So not only do we own the film on DVD but also have the soundtrack on CD.  This CD is permanently in the CD player in the car and whenever Éowyn is in the car she requests the Muppets.  Not only does Éowyn now know all the words to all the songs, so does Lucinda, and I quite often find myself whistling ‘Life’s a Happy Song’ or bursting into ‘Me Party’ at inopportune moments.  Now the fourth member of the family is hooked.  ‘Daddy, Muppets please,‘ is the first thing that Amélie will say as you put her into the car.  Although I love the Muppets and think that the soundtrack is excellent I think I have to try and find another soundtrack or album that they enjoy as much so that I can have some variety on my CD player in my car!

Julia Donaldson is rightly the Children’s Laureate and the girls enjoy many of her books, indeed Lucinda and I enjoy reading her books too. For those non-parents (and especially non-UK non-parents) her most famous book is probably The Gruffalo (a book I could probably recite by heart) which has made a successful leap to video with a 30 minute animated film.  Another of her books has taken a leap into another medium: Room on the Broom , another of our favourites had been turned into a stage show.  It is the story of a witch that allows a dog, a frog and a parrot join her and her cat on her broom.  Doesn’t sound too interesting?  Well there is a twist in the tale and you will have to buy the book to find out what happens.

We thought that Amélie was probably a little too young so we just bought tickets for Lucinda, me and Éowyn for the Sunday show at the Rose Theatre in Kingston-Upon-Thames with the other families of our NCT group.  Unfortunately work is extremely busy for me at the moment and it is difficult for me to take weekends off so disappointingly I was unable to go.  Rather than see the ticket go to waste we asked Éowyn who she would like to accompany her and mommy to the theatre.  Her cousin Megan was the lucky recipient of the spare ticket.  Éowyn was extremely excited to be going to the theatre (although I think she thought it was going to be the cinema).  The show was excellent and Lucinda, Éowyn and even Megan thoroughly enjoyed it which made me even more disappointed to have missed it.  The other members of our NCT group also enjoyed it and all of the children were well behaved throughout the show, which is nice to think that there are alternative ways to entertain our youngsters that does not rely on 21st century technology.

So since Lucinda is at work and it is time for some Daddy time I will leave you with a small selection of photos while I pretend to be a monster.

Peace and Love