In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Remember, remember the Fifth of November, gun powder, treason and plot.  I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot.

Up until this year I have always enjoyed Bonfire night (latent pyromania?), not for the history nor the idea encapsulated in the actions of Guido Fawkes and the other co-conspirators to blow up the House of Lords on the state opening of Parliament (caught by Lord Thomas Knyvet of Stanwell, coincidentally) but the fact that you get to have a big fire, fireworks and eat a variety of wholesome winter grub.  Obviously the lighting of bonfires to mark the start of Winter, giving thanks for the previous year and praying for the coming year is an ancient custom, as with many things hijacked for propaganda along the corridors of history and is just now synonymous with poor old Guy .  However I may have to revise my liking of the 5th November after this year.

This 5th November this year was a double celebration as it was also the Feast of Diwali (the Festival of Lights), the most important festival in the Hindu calendar.  Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama and his vanquishing of the demon-king Ravana.  His nation marked the return of their king by illuminating the kingdom with oil lamps.  Again this marked the end of the harvest season and prayers for a good harvest for the coming year.

Both of these festivals now incorporate the use of fireworks which although not an integral part of the either of the original festivals definitely compliment their spirits.  Plus they are just great.  Well, from a personal point of view, they are.  However, when you are a two year old girl asleep in your bed loud unknown noises can be quite unsettling.  So it was for poor Éowyn who woke up, disturbed by the bangs of the fireworks.  Her little heart was beating nineteen to the dozen, and she was extremely upset.  Eventually I managed to calm her back to sleep but it took over an hour and I had to stay with her until she fell back to sleep.

This repeated itself the next night, but this is where being a parent puts you in a quandary.  Obviously, Éowyn was upset and so it is important to go into her and reassure her.  But then the cuddling to sleep, or even just sitting in the room until she drops off could quickly develop from loving reassurance to a bad habit.  So, the third night she woke up (and this time there were no fireworks) I had to resort to bad cop.  A quick cuddle and a kiss, then I made her lie down and left then room.  She cried for five minutes or so, but then succumbed to the arms of Morpheus.  A quick sneak back in and tuck her in and the reliance on a parent to be in the room to fall asleep has thankfully gone away.

I also explained everything to her the next morning and she seemed to understand remarkably well, including repeating the sequence of events back to us.  ‘Éowyn go to sleep, fireworks noisy, bang, bang, bang! Éowyn wake up, cry.  Daddy kiss and cuddle.  Éowyn go back to sleep.’ Myself and Lucinda were astounded when she repeated it back to us.

Tuesday was Lucinda’s mum’s 70th birthday and so Sunday she hosted a party for friends and family.  It was a big turnout and Éowyn got to play with her cousins (which she always enjoys) and Amélie got to meet the majority of the remainder of Lucinda’s family that she hasn’t met.  There are still a few that haven’t been introduced, but all in good time.  There was the obligatory buffet and (being so close to Bonfire night) a fire and fireworks.  Éowyn was not fazed by the fireworks (because she could see what was causing the bangs).  However she was enthralled by the fire, latent pyromania inherited from her father, something we will definitely have to watch!

Amélie is still unsettled and not sleeping for any length of time, however Tuesday saw a visit from the Health Visitor who has come up with a novel explanation.  She seems to think that Amélie’s tongue is a little on the short side.  Nothing to be worried about per se, but is probably preventing her from latching on correctly and hence she is probably not getting enough of the hind-milk and at the same time giving her wind.   It also explains why Amélie has not put as much weight on as one would expect.  She currently tips the scales at  4.68kgs (10lb 4.5oz) which means she has dropped from the 75th centile line that she had been hugging for the last 6 weeks.  Again, nothing to worry about but another good reason to switch to bottles (with breast milk or formula) and see how things develop.

The first night we gave her formula in the bottle and she slept for 7 hours.  It is too early to say anything and we are not counting our chickens but she could be on to something.  At least we know how much she is drinking and I can take on some of the feeds, freeing Lucinda from the three hourly ritual.  You will have to stay tuned to see if this is a step to a brave new world.  I am off work for a week now and so we will have some time together to attempt to force this paradigm shift.

I will now take my leave and let you look at the new crop of photos.

Peace and love