February half term

February is nearly over and once again this site has been bereft of updates.  You are getting used to this by now I am sure.  Does this put pressure on me to deliver an evocative passage of prose?  Well, if you are expecting such a delight you will be sadly disappointed but hopefully the photos will make up for it!

The weather so far this winter has been relatively benign.  No great storms like last year therefore no flooding; no heavy falls of snow (we did have about 5mm one morning, with drifts of nearly 10mm but not enough to warrant a Facebook posting) and no prolonged periods of cold (unlike the North Eastern U.S.) .  Nevertheless, it is winter and therefore the fact that our central heating works has been greatly appreciated.  It is very pleasant walking in from the school run and being greeted with a wall of warmth as you open the front door.  A small something, and something that I had taken for granted for many years; as with many of today’s creature comforts it is only when they are taken away do you realise how much you have come to rely on them.

In my bachelor days I shared a flat in Richmond Upon Thames with 2 other bachelors.  In a throw back to the 1970’s we had a power cut one evening that lasted several hours.  It was only then that we realised how all of our usual evening entertainment relied on electricity.  Nevertheless we endured and a candlelit game of kerplunk with a Chinese take-away and a slightly warm beer kept the chthonic gloom away.

It is something that I am conscious (ok, semi-conscious) of ensuring that the Baguettes do not become so reliant on electricity for entertainment.  There is no denying that they do enjoy watching TV and playing on the iPads but in fairness to my little ones they do enjoy playing with dolls, cutting up bits of paper and, in Ezra’s case, playing with his ‘choo-choo‘.

As the above demonstrates, Ezra’s vocabulary is increasing daily and it is now easier for him to convey want he wants.  He has recently discovered his wooden train set that we bought him for Christmas and he delights in sitting on the floor pushing the train around the track.  In fact, he has become a little obsessive with it and will keep tugging on your leg saying ‘choo-choo‘ and squeals with excitement as you connect the track together in a loop.  It is in contrast with his other obsession:  Peppa Pig, or more accurately ‘George‘, her little brother.  I think that a trip to Peppa Pig World is in order, in the not too distant future.

Ezra’s other new found love belies his Midland roots: Pork Pies.  I had bought myself a couple of mini pork pies and as I took it out of the fridge to garnish my dinner (lunch for those of you in the South of England) plate, Ezra reached out his hand and said ‘Mine‘.  I always like the children to try new food so I gave it to him, half expecting it to be returning with barely a nibble gone.  No such luck.  He polished it off completely.  It is not a one off either, he will regularly eat a mini pork pie with his father.  Flat cap, pork pie, all he needs now is a whippet!

Ezra’s next big stage will be to move into his big bed.  He is still in his cot, but he is rapidly outgrowing it.  Therefore a new bed has been built in his room but we have not moved him into it yet.  I will update you all in the new write up as to his progress to a big boy’s bed.

Ezra isn’t the only one with new milestones over the last few weeks.  Éowyn has completed her first fundraising activity, no doubt the first of many.  Organised through the school  it was for the NSPCC (the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) and involved physical exercise.  She had to perform 100 sets of various activities, running, skipping, hopping, star jumps and the like.  The more sponsors she received the more reward badges she received.  Obviously she wanted the highest level of badge: the Rainbow badge.  Therefore Daddy took the sponsorship form to work to see if he could coerce his colleagues into parting with their hard earned money.  They came up trumps and with the family filling in the blank lines, Éowyn not only reached the Rainbow milestone but raised a grand total of £184.03 (the odd thruppence came from colleagues trying to outdo each other by a penny!).

Amélie’s first was her first school report from her new school.  Her school has just had its latest Ofsted (the office for standards in education) inspection and had been rated Outstanding, which is fantastic news.  So would Amélie’s report be as favourable?  We need not of worried, for she received an outstanding rating of her own.

They are very pleased with her and have said that she development-wise she is hitting the targets that are given to reception year children, in fact the one fear they have is that she may be bored when she goes to school as there may not be much to engage her.  The other observation that they have is that she tends to play on her own.  It is something that we have noticed at home too.  She is often in her own little world even when she is playing ‘with’ other children.  I have put with in inverted commas because she has a tendency to play next to her friends (as does become upset when her friends are not about or will not play next to her) but they do not interact.  That is maybe a little unfair for she will play with other children but I think she just prefers her own company.

As the title alludes last week was half-term.  We had no trips planned so we decided that it would be nice to pop up to see Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz.  It seems an inordinate amount of time since I last went up to West Bromwich.  Coming on back of Valentine’s day Nanny Fran also offered to look after the kids on the Sunday evening that we arrived so that we could take advantage of one of the restaurants in the new development in West Bromwich town centre.

All three kids love seeing their Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz mainly because they do not see them that often.  Even Ezra got excited as we arrived in Hateley Heath.  We only spent two and half days in West Bromwich, for I had to go to work on the Wednesday and Lucinda the next day.  However it was nice spending some time with Nanny Fran and the kids enjoyed it especially since they were allowed to visit a toy shop and spend some of their Christmas money.  Not that they were allowed to spend all of it, for one of the jobs that Lucinda and I managed to complete on this visit was to pay some money into their West Bromwich Building Society accounts.

When I was born an account at the West Bromwich Building Society was opened in my name and as part of a tradition (of two generations) we have done the same for my children shortly after they were born.  Well, all but Ezra.  For some reason or another we have not managed to do so for our son.  This was rectified on this trip and now he, too, can begin to put some money aside to squander on a gap year, a trip around the world, or his first car or indeed what ever he sees fit and the same for his older sisters.  Hopefully there will be enough in there for them to find useful.

I take your leave and as March approaches as a West Brom fan we are in the rare territory of still being in the F.A. cup with a trip to our arch rivals Aston Villa in the quarter-final.  A win will mean a trip to Wembley and a semi-final appearance, but defeat will leave us open to mocking from Villa fans for many a-year.

Peace and Love