Happy 2nd Birthday

A little belatedly but ‘Happy Birthday’ to my first born.  Yes, Éowyn celebrated her second birthday last Sunday, although in true style she celebrated it all weekend and hence no updates!

As my family are still primarily based in the West Midlands and since Nanny Fran is still unable to drive, we headed to West Bromwich so that Éowyn could see her Nanny and Auntie Liz.  We also took this opportunity to introduce Amélie to her Great-Grandma and to the husband of her namesake, her Great-Great Uncle Albert.  Both enjoyed extended cuddles with Amélie but Éowyn was a little subdued, although she did have excuses.  At Great-Grandma’s nursing home I think it is a little overwhelming to enter the common room and I think it freaked her out a little and hung onto Daddy’s leg for protection.  While on the way to Great-Great Uncle Albert’s she fell asleep and so we had to wake her and I don’t think that anyone is at their best when they have just been woken up.

We were only at Nanny Fran’s for a little over 24 hours but I think that Éowyn completely wore out her Nanny Fran.  Éowyn was so excited all along the motorway and couldn’t wait to get out of the car when we arrived at West Bromwich.  She bounded into the house said ‘hello’ then headed for the toy corner and made herself at home.  Nanny Fran was a star and looked after Amélie overnight so that we could have a (fairly) uninterrupted night’s sleep to try and put some hours back into the sleep bank.

We headed back home Saturday afternoon and while my 3 girls snoozed I managed to listen to another fine performance of West Bromwich Albion battling back from a two goal deficit at half time to draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford!  The first time in Premier League history that Manchester United have let a 2-0 score slip at home in the Premier League (although they did let a 3-1 score slip to Chelsea in 2000).  Amélie only knows West Bromwich Albion as a top 6 Premier League team.  Boing Boing!  (It can’t last can it?)

Sunday, (Éowyn’s birthday) we headed the couple of hundred metres up the road to Lucinda’s parents for Sunday roast with Lucinda’s immediate family and the girls’ cousins.  Éowyn loves to play with her cousins including poor Finley who will soon feel left out as the only boy in the group.  In fact he is the only great-grandchild of Granddad Badger (Lucinda’s granddad), outnumbered 10 to 1.  However, if we take into account the second cousins then the ratio becomes a little more respectable 11 to 2, still the Cathrall family name is reliant on only two males to carry the name forward.  I know the feeling.  My Grandfather Bagnall had five sons, who between them have had 5 girls and me.  It is probably the reason that I am interested in my family history but I think my girls are going to have to keep their surname for this branch of the Bagnall line to carry into the future.

I will leave the update there as this post is a little belated and as I am now back at work you will have to tune in next week to fine out how that is going.

Peace and love


To sleep: perchance to dream

Ay, there’s the rub! The updates have been non-existent for the last couple of days partly due to spending a bit more time together as a family, partly because we haven’t done too much that is worthy of an update and partly due to lack of sleep caused by a little one that has been crying throughout the night.  Last night, in fact was the first night that both Lucinda and I got a full (ish) night’s sleep.  We have been told that her current crying is probably due to the antibiotics that Lucinda is taking and that when the course has finished (which is today) then to see if there is a change in Amélie’s crying pattern.  We have been carrying on with the Colief and Infacol though and hope that it has helped to a certain extent and fingers crossed when the antibiotics have worked their magic things may calm down.  They have to, I am back to work next week!

So what have we been doing the past few days?  Nothing hugely exciting it has to be said.  Adjusting as a family, trips to see Nanny and Granddad and a myriad of those little jobs around the house including repairing the shower pump! (I am sure that houses react to the amount of attention you bestow.  The more attention you give the more little (and big) things go wrong or need replacing, and it is not just that you notice them, as per the shower pump example.  It is relatively new (although out of warranty) but decided to choose this week to go wrong.)  Yes, while Lucinda was having a shower and myself and Éowyn were sitting on the sofa we noticed a dripping coming from the ceiling.  The shower pump had sprung a leak.  It was a good job that I was off and my basic plumbing skills now mean that it has all been isolated and just waiting for a spare part to fix it.

We have had a steady stream of visitors, mainly friends as most of the family saw Amélie in her first week.  Amélie, apart from the crying, is growing well.  The Health Visitor came today (as we have been discharged by midwifery care) and performed a hearing test (she passed with flying colours) and weighed her.  She is now 3.9kgs (8lbs 9.5oz) so putting on weight at a good rate (above her birth weight in two weeks) sitting in the 75th centile.  The Health Visitor was also enamoured with Éowyn (who wouldn’t be).  For she was very chatty and busy (drawing and pretending to go shopping) while the Health Visitor was there.  Éowyn also insisted on doing her flash cards (16 different words she now recognises) and the Health Visitor was amazed (especially since Éowyn is not even two yet!)  She said she couldn’t wait to go back to the office and tell her colleagues.  Which was nice.

Éowyn has also been settling in to the idea that Amélie is not going anywhere.  We did have a couple of nights of a little resistance when we put her to bed.  She was finding it hard to understand that Amélie was going to spend the night in mommy and daddy’s room and she wasn’t, touch wood, that has now gone.  She also seemed a little subdued for a week but again that seems to have passed.  All the time though she has been wonderful around Amélie.  She will help you when you are changing Amélie, she will try to calm her when she is crying and she enjoys holding her, except when she starts crying and then Éowyn will look at you with eyes that say ‘Please daddy, she is too noisy!’  I think that Lucinda is dreading the day I go back to work!  As since I was not the winner of £113,019,926 on Friday’s Euromillions then it is to work that I must return, but before that there is a small matter of Éowyn’s second birthday on Sunday.

So I will leave you now and give Lucinda a break and expect at least one more update before I return to work.

Peace and love


Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.

Before you think I’ve gone all ‘King and I‘ or going to burst into a medley of Rodgers and (stop) Hammerstein, I was merely trying to think of a catchy title to celebrate that we have, for over a week, been a family of four and are all having to make adjustments to accommodate the new arrival.

Éowyn has adjusted to sharing her parents remarkably well.  It helps that I am on paternity leave and so there is always one of us that can lavish attention on her.  In fact she is quite taken with her little sister and will often park herself on the sofa with a cushion on her lap with her arm out ready to hold Amélie.  Which she will do for a short amount of time until she gets bored or Amélie starts crying.

However, there has been a slight change at night.  It started yesterday.  Lucinda went up to bed at about 2130 and Éowyn was crying.  Lucinda went into her and she was upset and kept saying that she wanted to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed.  I heard the commotion and went upstairs and took over while Lucinda attended to Amélie.  I gave Éowyn a cuddle and tried to explain that Amélie was a baby and that when she was bigger that she would be sharing Éowyn’s room.  I read her a story and tucked her back into bed and all was good.  She woke up this morning and all was right again.

Then tonight.  Lucinda bathed her and I read her three stories before tucking her into bed.  Her usual routine.  (We have tried to keep things as routine as they can be to try and disturb her the least).  However, when I cam to tuck her into bed, she began to cry.  Again she wanted to sleep in mommy and daddy’s room with Amélie.  So, another daddy cuddle and I explained that she was a big girl and that she would see mommy, daddy and Amélie in the morning when she woke up.  She surrounded herself with her cuddly toys and went to sleep.

She must now be realising that Amélie is here to stay and can’t understand why she is allowed in mommy and daddy’s room.  There is no point getting angry or shouting at her; just reassure and try to explain the situation to her, as best as we can, in a calm voice.  We are both very aware, that however much we pity her and don’t like to see her upset there is no way we can ever give in, not even for one night.

During the week, our visitor numbers are low mainly because most of our friends and family are at work and the evening is not a good time to visit when you have young ones to bath and put to bed.  Yesterday, however we were visited by a family of swans (actually they were scoping number 73 – see photos below) and more importantly our friends Lee and Caroline and their daughter Georgia.  Georgia was born the day after Éowyn so it was interesting to see them react to each other (not play, they interacted but it wasn’t really playing together).  There was a lot of possessiveness from both, not malicious but a toy is always more interesting when it is being played with by someone else.  Both were very cute though and it was nice to see them give each other a kiss goodbye.

Today, I got the first taste of what it will be like for Lucinda every day when my paternity leave ends.  Lucinda had a check up at the doctor’s at 0900, so I was left to get Éowyn, Amélie and myself washed, dressed and fed.  I have had trouble with just the last one in the past!  Actually I think I coped remarkably well, but it is definitely going to be a strain for Lucinda every day.  You can’t rest for a moment.  I think I will have the easier part of the relationship heading into work.

We also took advantage of the unseasonably clement weather (temperatures of 21°C) and went for a walk around the Salville Gardens side of Virginia Water.  There is a little play area for kids, with swings and climbing frames and a sandpit.  So plenty of fun and a good chance for us all to get some vitamin D.  Then back home in time for tea and cakes.

I will bid you adieu (to yieu, and yieu and yieu – OK I’ll stop it!)

Peace and love