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