Sleeping through the night

I was sorely tempted to use the same pun I used for the first March post on this site in 2009.  For the year is certainly ‘marching on’ with great aplomb, it doesn’t seem five minutes since it was Christmas and we were taking Éowyn to Playbox for the first time.  Now we have experienced our first half-term and have one eye on Easter!

Éowyn is beginning to enjoy Playbox and is apparently coming out of her shell more while she is there.  It must be quite daunting for her as most of the other children are at least a year old than her, which at her tender age is 50% (!) while the oldest are twice her age.  She can, however, hold her own in the intelligence stakes and is not literally dwarfed by the others either, well she does have me as a father!  After a little wobble in behaviour she has begun to turn it around and ‘Pleases’ and ‘Thank-yous’ are back in vogue.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I promised her a Gruffalo (there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo) for Easter if she was a good girl.  She even won a star at pre-school for ‘Great Sitting and Listening at Circle Time’. Not sure exactly what ‘Circle Time’ is but very proud of her nevertheless.

Éowyn is great entertainment.  She thoroughly enjoys being read to and will read to you too.  A number of her books that we have read to her regularly she knows the storyline to and can recite great swathes of the story word for word.  If you didn’t know better you would swear that she was reading it.  She even puts the same intonation into the recital as I do.  In fact her ‘reading’ is coming along too.  She now has 31 Flash Cards at her Nanny and Granddad’s, hand made by Lucinda’s mum from cereal packages, and can reel them off without error.  You sometimes forget that she is only 2!  She is also a bit of a practical joker, hiding balls under my pillow seems to be a favourite at the moment.  She also will do impressions occasionally of Lucinda but more commonly of me: she puts on a deep voice and says, “I’ve been at work all day!”

As I have already mentioned last week was our first half term, but it was also half term for Éowyn and Amélie’s cousins.  This is where grandparents that live close by are very handy.  Lucinda’s parents were looking after the older cousins and so Lucinda took Éowyn and Amélie round so that Éowyn could play with her cousins and the cousins could see AmélieÉowyn took her Elefun game round and all enjoyed catching the paper butterflies, although Lucinda did have to remind the older ones that Éowyn is only 2 and they should not crowd her out, even though Éowyn seemed nonplussed about the jostling.  She really loves playing with her older cousins and all four of them are brilliant with her.  Hopefully it will be the same when Amélie reaches a similar age.

Amélie has been making strides of her own in her development.  It is hard not to compare Amélie’s development with that of Éowyn but with a site like this it is hard not to keep having a quick peak to see what Éowyn was doing at the same age.  I will not refer to it in these write ups but if curiosity is a particular weakness of the reader then the Archive section at the side will take you easily to each month.

Apart from two previously described incidents (neither of which Lucinda or I saw), Amélie has not begun to roll, however she does turn herself around if left alone and she is doing all the right things:  lifting her legs up 90° and rolling to her side.  She just doesn’t roll all the way over on to her front.  Still there is plenty of time for that.

After a slow start Amélie is taking to weaning and down thoroughly enjoys her baby rice and her new taste sensation puréed pears.  Whether it is the weaning or just that time in her development but she has begun teething.  Can’t feel anything at the moment when you rub your fingers over her gums but her cheeks are red and anything in her reach is grabbed in a vice-like grip and dragged into her mouth to be gnawed.  Unfortunately this included Éowyn’s little pot of grated cheddar.  If Amélie had been any other baby probably wouldn’t have reacted with quite the vigour I did.  I leapt out of my chair and fished all the little shards of cheese out of her mouth before she could swallow.  It is something that will happen, especially when Amélie becomes mobile but something that we want to be under our control so we can monitor her when she eats her next foodstuff that contains milk protein.

The teething though has had its benefits.  Since birth Amélie has only slept through the night once or twice.  She is usually crying to be fed every3 hours but because she was in pain with her teeth we rubbed Bonjela into her gums and gave her Calpol before putting her to sleep in her cot (she has now out-grown the moses basket).  The combination must have knocked her out because she slept for 7 hours.  Unfortunately, Lucinda and I didn’t fully appreciate that because we were half expected to be woke so still had a restless night.  Amazingly though, now she has realised that she can sleep through the night it has become a habit and she has carried this on for the last week or so.  Long may it continue.

Amélie’s reflux though has not really changed lately.  It is definitely better than it was for the first couple of months of her life however she still can completely soak you through and you have to change her a least a half dozen times a day.  As part of the ongoing investigation Amélie had an ultrasound at Ashford hospital on Wednesday.  Amélie was very good allowing the doctor to examine her.  They had a good look at her stomach and then asked us to feed her so that they could see it all working.  As per the Law of Murphy Amélie quite happily polished off her bottle and refused to throw up.  No reflux at all.  In the words of the mighty Alf Stewart you stand there like a great Galah! The good news was that there was nothing physical they could see and a couple of conditions they were looking for can be eliminated.  It is just one of those things that we have to live with and hope that she grows out of.  The sooner the better for the environment (the amount of electricity and water we are using must be incredible) as well as our sanity.

I will leave you now to look at the photos (click on them to view them full size) and write to you all soon

Peace and Love

Growing up, fast

Yet again, work and other factors have prevented me from an update until now.  Yes, nigh on three weeks have passed without word or photo hoisted upon the screen.  We are a very busy family!  Actually that is probably not quite true at the moment.  Lucinda’s and my working days are in opposition at the moment, so we are not seeing a lot of each other and the days off that we do have are, quite rightly, hogged by Éowyn.

Éowyn is going through one of those phases of rapid skill acquisition and development.  I am finding this quite fun.  Since our last update she has learnt:

  • to climb the stairs (not good for a 16 month old) and climb down the stairs (essential considering the first skill);
  • recognise pictures and videos of monkeys and do an impression (ooo-ooo);
  • recognise fish and do an impression (the mouthing of the word ‘bob’);
  • recognise ducks (and say a word that sounds as if she is saying ‘duck’ and ‘quack’ at the same time);
  • understand more complicated phrases such as ‘take your shoes off’ or ‘get your coat’ and action them;
  • eat a whole peeled banana, now refusing sliced banana;
  • and climb onto the settee to sit next to you;

Not bad for three weeks.  She has also used Skype for the first time to ‘talk to” and see her Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz.  I think that Nanny Fran had more difficulties with Skype than Éowyn.  She didn’t really understand it at first (Éowyn not Nanny Fran) and I think was more fascinated by her own video picture in the bottom corner than Nanny Fran and Aunite liz on the big screen.  But soon accepted it as normal and gave Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz a kiss (leaving dribble all over the screen), then made them a cup of tea with her tea set and tried to give it to them.  I think that Nanny Fran really enjoyed it as although she saw a lot of Éowyn over Christmas she has not seen her since 2nd January.  We will have to make amends.

Last week Éowyn caught a slight case of conjunctivitis.  Conjunctivitis is a very contagious disease and so it is imperative to clear the infection quickly, therefore we made a timely trip to the doctors to get a prescription for eyedrops.  Éowyn was incredibly brave, lying down to let you put the drops into her eye, we feared it was going to be a struggle but I think she knew that they were for the best.  Unfortunately our childminder will not take children while the infection is contagious (which is fair) and so Nanny and Granddad came to our rescue.  She thoroughly enjoyed herself especially in the garden with Granddad, to the point of throwing a mini tantrum when Nanny asked her to come in.  She is also a big fan of Harvey (their West Highland Terrier) although he is more nonplussed about her.

During a break in the wet weather we took Éowyn to the garden centre in the village (I know what you are thinking – those adventure seeking junkies!) to take a wander around their extensive pet section (it is cheaper than the zoo!).  They have a wide range of fish, arachnida (Tarantulas and Scorpions to you), lizards, snakes, birds and rodents (rats, guinea pigs, degu, chincilla, gerbils, mice, hamsters, etc) and lagomorphs (rabbits).  She was most interested in the fish (‘bob’) and wasn’t interested in the mammals at all.  I am of the firm belief that it is good for children to have pets, it makes them take responsibility and in the case of the short lived creatures introduces them to bereavement.  However, Éowyn is far too young at the moment and our house is far too small and with our work patterns at the moment it wouldn’t be fair on any pet that we have.  It is far better to play with other people’s pets and pop round the garden centre or zoo when you want to have a look.  Far less messy and much cheaper!

I have not seen much of my daughter these past few weeks so there are not many photos in the update.  I will try harder for next time.  Until then..

Peace and love