Éowyn’s Fifth Birthday

This was meant to have been posted before we went on holiday, but life got in the way and so this post is very belated.  Apologies, but it will mean that you will possibly have 3 (if life doesn’t get in the way again) updates in the next week or so.

The second and third weeks of October were emotional, pivotal, exciting and to top it all, the week that our oldest child celebrated her fifth birthday.  Yes, five years ago we became parents when Éowyn came into our lives.  I probably write this every year and will do for years to come, but it does not seem like five minutes ago that I first held her in my arms.  So, need I explain the first sentence a little more?

Emotional – obviously with the passing of my Nan at the beginning of the week.

Exciting – My 40th birthday present and the track day in the Ariel Atom.

I have missed one haven’t I?

Pivotal – The most pleasant of the big news stories of the last couple of weeks is that we have exchanged on our new home.  The remortgage on our current home is through and so the monies can be transferred and the 10% deposit paid and the contracts can be exchanged.  We complete on the 1st November and the 5 months of an emotional rollercoster is easing into the station.  Yes, there will be the small matter of making the new place a home, no to mention the packing, moving and unpacking that we are yet to face but positive moves are afoot and we can let ourselves believe that it is actually going to happen!  But the gory details of the move will be a subject for another update what have we missed since the last update about the Bagnall household?

As you may recall from the write up entitled Amélie’s Third Birthday Éowyn’s N.C.T. group 5th birthday party was held at Alice Holt but unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to go.  Therefore with an rare Sunday off we decided to head to Alice Holt for a family day out.  To make it a little bit more fun we told my university friends Charlie and Mel hoping that their boys and our girls would have someone new to play with.  When we woke that Sunday morning the heavens had opened and it was heavily raining.  Undaunted we still headed to Alice Holt and so, too, did Charlie and Mel.  Thus the two families trudged through the rain and the mud, with wellies and waterproofs, you have to be prepared.  We headed to Charlie and Mel’s for coffee and cake before heading back home with two very tired girls.  It was good to see Charlie and Mel and hopefully we will have better weather next time we meet up.

Éowyn’s actual birthday was a little subdued.  Being a weekday she was at school.  Unfortunately we may have set a bit of a precedent with taking cakes and sweets (Éowyn’s insistence) for her classmates.  Although I was at work, I managed to get out a little early and headed to Nanny and Granddad’s for a birthday tea with Uncle Michael, Auntie Cristina and Lauren and Maddie in addition to the Bagnalls and Nanny and Granddad.  As ever she was spoilt with presents and thoroughly enjoyed her birthday cake that Nanny Fran had sent down with me earlier in the week.

Nanny Fran had planned to surprise Éowyn and come down on her birthday and stop the night.  Unfortunately with Nan’s (Great Grandma’s) passing on the Monday before Éowyn’s birthday, Nanny Fran was unable to come down as she had a lot of organising to do and Nan’s affairs to put in order.  As Éowyn didn’t know that Nanny Fran was coming down, she was not disappointed but nevertheless Nanny Fran was and so will have to make amends in a couple of weeks.

Éowyn has grown up considerably over the last couple of months and this is obviously due to school.  With half-term approaching her love of education is not diminishing.  It probably helps that she is one of the oldest children in the year and she is also gregarious and quite clever.  She has received a number of stickers for good work and two certificates for being a ‘superstar‘ the first with explaining what a repeating pattern is and the second for reading.  Yes, our little girl can now read (one of the first in the class to progress to reading – very proud parents).  She also received a certificate for perfect attendance.

This information is not just second hand, we have received it first hand from Éowyn’s teacher when we had our first ‘proper’ parents’ evening.  Miss Finbow spoke very highly of Éowyn, she said that not only is Éowyn academically bright but that she brightens the room with her presence.  She will organise games with the other children and has learned to share and think about the other children, something she has demonstrated on a number of occasions.  Miss Finbow said that there was nothing we needed to be worried about but just to continue the things we do with Éowyn to help develop her reading.  We told Miss Finbow that we would be moving shortly and so we are concerned that it may affect Éowyn and she said that she would keep a close eye on Éowyn and report if she thinks that it is having any adverse effects on our eldest.  She did say a nice thing in reply to our news though, almost pleading with us not to take Éowyn out of the school as she would miss her.

It is a shame that Amélie isn’t quite as well behaved.  She has been a little naughty (although still cute with her naughtiness) of late.  It is probably due to the upheaval in her life at the moment.  She is no longer the baby of the family, Ezra has taken that accolade.  She is going to school but only twice a week while Éowyn goes everyday.  Also Éowyn is getting a lot of praise with her school work, she has a birthday and then three weeks later Éowyn has a birthday.

This culminated in Amélie having a poo on the bathroom floor.  Not sure why she didn’t go to the toilet, or indeed the potty that was in her room but when we asked her why she had done it, she denied that it was her.  Not only did she deny that it was her but blamed an imaginary friend, not her imaginary friend but one of Éowyn’s!

In Amélie’s defence, she has been very well behaved at school (nursery) and is enjoying going which is a great turnaround considering at the beginning of September she was nearly apoplectic with the notion of going.  Now, she positively runs up the path eager to spend the day at TinyTots.

Before I leave you for the day a quick update on Ezra.  His crawling has gone from Ninja rolling to crawling backwards to zooming around the house getting under your feet.  He has also started to pull himself up on the furniture; not quite to his feet but to his knees, somehow I doubt it will not be long before he will progress to standing – then the trouble will begin.

Not the greatest selection of photos below, for which I apologise but rest assured there will be plenty uploaded to Flickr in the next week or so.

Peace and Love


Night, night Nan

At 17:40 on Monday 14th October 2013, after a long illness my nan, Doris Beatrice McGinn (née Wyton) finally earned her rest.  She had woke up in the morning asking for her Dad (who had died in 1945) but had seemed in her usual health.  However, just before midday my mom received a call to say that my nan’s breathing had become laboured and they suggested that we come to see her.

So Mom called around and we all dropped what we were doing and heading to Nan’s nursing home in West Bromwich.  For me that included a detour to Woking to pick up my sister Mary before heading up the M40; for my Uncle Michael a journey from deepest darkest Wales.  When we got there Nan seemed to acknowledge us briefly, but that was all the strength she had left and she passed away a few hours later.  Her passing was very sedate.

Although death always comes as a shock, Nan has not been well for many years and we have been prepared for her passing for a while.  She is now at peace and we have our memories of a stoic lady.  For me those memories are of weekends at her home and holidays in Blackpool; Saturday mornings with Nan knitting while shouting at the underhand antics of Skull Murphy and Kendo Nagasaki while cheering on Big Daddy and the best Bread Pudding in Christendom.

Nan may not have been in the best of health the last few years but it always cheered her up when her Great Grandchildren came to visit, although she insisted that she was called Nan rather than Great Grandma as it made her sound too old!

Sleep well Nan you have certainly earned it.

Sleeping’s for wimps!

Welcome to the first post-paternity leave update.  Yes, I am back in the adult word with responsibilities to my employers as well as to the family.  So as many of you are taking time off at Easter to be with your families I am somewhat contradictorily returning from time off work.  Perhaps Ezra has sensed this change in circumstances for he, too has decided to change his circumstances.  For the first two weeks of his life he was unbelievable as a baby.  He would feed and then sleep.  Wake when he was hungry, maybe cry a little and then feed and go back to sleep.  Obviously there would be the regular effect of all that food and he certainly doesn’t like his nappy changed with his bits all on show.  However apart from that he was an almost ideal baby.  Then it changed.

For a week he didn’t sleep.  He fed, he cried and he pooped and that was all he did for nearly a week.  I think if it wasn’t for Nanny Fran Lucinda definitely, and me, probably, would have been in a complete state since I was trying to get back in the working mentality and Lucinda would have had both girls and Ezra to look after on mere snatches of sleep.  Not conducive to keep yourself compos mentis or to be in charge of small children.

So what caused Ezra’s sleepless nights?  It is hard to track down.  He wasn’t ill.  It went on a little too long to be something that Lucinda had eaten.  We are putting it down to a development leap, he was possibly becoming more aware of his surroundings and so his brain was trying to process all this new information.  According to the Wonder Weeks website this was a little too early but if we ignore this little oversight then it seems to tie in quite well.  One thought that did pass through our heads was whether he was developing Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance like his sister.  Therefore we decided that we would take him to get him weighed at the next clinic to ensure he was putting on weight at the expecting rate.

While we were struggling with Ezra alone where were Éowyn and Amélie?  There were 120 miles north-west in West Bromwich at Nanny Fran’s.  Yes, Nanny Fran had offered to look after the girls for the first week of the Easter holidays and we jumped at the offer.  This would tie in with my first week back at work and so, the theory went, Lucinda could get into a routine with Ezra alone before trying to get into a routine with all three children.  As you can guess that idea didn’t quite go to plan but nevertheless was very convenient.

We drove up to West Bromwich in the S-Max, its first proper outing and the first time that we could use the in-car DVD in anger.  Ezra was very good in the car (as were Éowyn and Amélie) and we soon arrived at Nanny Fran’s.  As I have mentioned before Éowyn and Amélie love to go to Nanny Fran’s and this time was no different, they were very excited for nearly a week before the journey.  I am sure that Ezra will be no different when he grows up.  Indeed he realised that he was somewhere different and you could see him looking around and trying to make some sense of the new place.  As a baby’s eyesight isn’t that great it is possible that it is new smells that he is reacting to but whatever it was he definitely knew he was somewhere different and he was quite happy to be there.

This was Ezra’s first trip to West Bromwich, in fairness it was his first proper journey of any note.  News of his trip spread and even though we were only there for a few hours he had a number of visitors who came over to see him.  He also made a visit to his Great-Grandma.  It was the day after her 90th birthday and so there was a double reason to visit.  Great-Grandma managed to have an extended cuddle with her first Great-Grandson and Ezra was very good just lying there in her arms relaxed in his oldest relative’s embrace.

After a meal and a couple more visitors Lucinda and I then headed back home leaving our oldest children with Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz.  So while Lucinda was struggling with no sleep and I was struggling with very little sleep and getting back into work, what did Éowyn and Amélie get up to?

If you ask Éowyn then the answer would be nothing.  It is always nothing as I have mentioned before, but the photos paint a different story.   Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz spoilt them rotten (as a Nan and Auntie should).  They went to a couple of soft play areas, the West Midlands Safari Park and Auntie Liz took Éowyn to the cinema to see her first 3D film (Finding Nemo).

They were both very well behaved (well they were at Nanny Fran’s so they had no choice!) and came back with some goodies and had but one question:  When could they go back to Nanny Frans.

So before I leave you (with a good selection of photos) is Ezra Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerant?  While I took Éowyn to the cinema to see her second film of the week (The Croods – in 2D, none of that 3D nonsense for me) Lucinda went to find out.  Well if his current weight gain is anything to go by, no!  Tuesday morning is the Baby Weigh-in clinic and so Lucinda (and Amélie) took Ezra for the first time.  His last weigh-in was two weeks ago and so we were quite interested to find out how much he had put on.  We were not prepared for the answer.  The little bruiser now weighs 4.97kg (10lb 15oz).  He has put on over two pounds (just short of a kilogram) in less than 4 weeks and now sits on the 91st centile.  That’s my boy!

Please enjoy the photos below and don’t forget the photos on Flickr

Peace and love