Less than three weeks after our youngest turned one our oldest turns three. Time is definitely travelling faster than a superluminal neutrino for the Bagnall family at the moment (although the closer you approach the speed of light the more that time dilates so probably not the best analogy – but you get the idea). Again it doesn’t seem five minutes since we were in St. Peter’s hospital and we were looking at our first born through the perspex window of an incubator in the ICU. Not quite as romantic as sitting there with her in your arms but as you may remember she was quickly rushed to ICU after her birth as she was born with pneumomediastinum and hence there was no time for cuddles before she was whisked away. She has not suffered any ill affects due to that initial condition and indeed it has not stunted her growth either physically or cerebrally.
The weeks between Amélie’s birthday and Éowyn’s have been relatively quiet, work has still been busy (although I am now at the start of a fortnight off work) but I have been able to get home at a more reasonable hour each night. (It brings it home to you when you drop your daughter off at Nanny and Granddad’s before heading to work when she asks ‘Daddy, will me and Amélie be in bed when you come home tonight?‘. Sometimes it is hard to remember why you are doing what you do).
Éowyn’s birthday celebrations started the on the first day of my vacation (two days before her birthday proper), with a party at Nanny and Granddad’s with her cousins and Lucy’s family, a kind of precursor to the Badger Moot. It was a relatively sedate affair as the elder cousins keep our two little ones entertained for the majority of the afternoon allowing us to have some adult conversation and actually enjoy our meal for a change rather without the interruptions or encouraging Éowyn to carry on eating. After the meal we allowed her to open her pressies and cards and sang happy birthday to her as she blew the candle out on her Peppa Pig cake. A perfect ending to birthday number 0ne.
The following day was a joint third birthday party at the Egham Leisure Centre’s soft play area with the other couples from our NCT group. We hired the same place last year and so we knew what we were in for. The booking allows you exclusive use of the soft play area and the adjoining room in which they provide party food (Jamie Oliver wouldn’t be happy but chicken nuggets, chips and crisps go down far better than the cheese, ham and jam sandwiches that are also provided). Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz met us there and Auntie Liz brought her face painting case to practise on Éowyn’s cohorts. The two hours seemed to fly by but with one eye on the kids there was hardly a chance to actually have any lengthy adult conversation with the fellow NCT-ees (is that the correct term?).
Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz then followed us back home where Auntie Mary came over to complete the Bagnall side. Again we allowed Éowyn to open the pressies from her Bagnall relatives. She was very happy to be the centre of attention for the second day in a row. It must feel to poor Amélie that she is forever in the shadow of her older sister. It doesn’t seem to bother her though and she is quite unassumingly progressing and will grab the attention of someone in the room and demand that you sing ‘Row, row, row the boat’ to her. Demand is probably a strong word but will encourage by starting you off with ‘Rowrowrow‘. That person tended to be Nanny Fran on Sunday. She has also started to pull herself up onto her legs now, so you have to be careful where you put things, for the number of safe places is beginning to dwindle.
Monday saw Éowyn’s actual birthday and so we decided not to take her to pre-school but Peppa Pig World instead. The weather forecast implied that it was going to be dry if a little cooler than late (probably still average for the middle of October) and so it seemed like it could be the last opportunity of the year (unless we head to Santa’s Christmas Wonderland at Paulton’s Park). The weather forecast (for once) was fairly accurate (apart from a short sharp shower) and we took full advantage of the diminished crowds and managed a significant more of the rides than the last time we went. It didn’t start out too well though for all the way down to Peppa Pig World Éowyn was asking if she could go on the Windy Castle ride. So the first ride we headed to in the park was the Windy Castle ride but as she looked up at the tower she freaked herself out and decided that she didn’t want to go on it anymore. We feared that this was going to be the precedent for the day, fortunately it seemed to be just a blip and she went on every other ride without a second thought. We even managed to enter the Peppa Pig shop and leave without buying anything!
So Éowyn’s three day celebration of her birthday came to a close and once again she was blessed with a multitude of cards and presents, thank you to everyone who sent either or both, it is most appreciated by us and more significantly by Éowyn herself as she becomes more aware of birthdays (and Christmasses) and what they mean (presents!).
Although this instalment is mainly about Éowyn’s third birthday, Amélie has some important news too. Since she has reached the grand age of 12 months it is time to test her milk protein intolerance. We went to see the dietitian yesterday and she has given us a timetable of what to test her with and what to look for. It begins with half a biscuit that contains milk (the milk in the biscuit will have been cooked at a high temperature and therefore changed its shape. In a highly intolerant person the body will still recognise the protein structure and they will have a reaction, more usually the body fails to recognise the protein and nothing happens) and ends with diary being introduced into her diet as usual (assuming she has grown out of her intolerance. Obviously this is a long process especially if she has any reaction to the milk protein (in whatever form) along the way but of course we will keep you informed. The dietitian has also warned us that even though she may have grown out of her intolerance there is a strong possibility that she may just not like dairy products and she has not grown up with the taste or has a deep memory in her subconscious of her early encounters. A little like me with cheese! She was also weighed and measured and now tops the scales at 9.88kg (21.7lbs) in the 75th centile while her length has her in the 98th centile – so another tall child. The weight gain is very pleasing it has to be said for she was born in the 75th centile and before her milk protein intolerance had been diagnosed she had dropped below the 25th centile, so it is good to see her maintaining a good weight.
I shall leave you there and as I am off work at the moment there will hopefully be another instalment in the next week or so. Look for the photographic evidence of my weight loss, you maybe impressed.
Peace and love