To patch or not to patch II – return to the orthoptist

I am spoiling you with the continued frequency of updates this year although I was secretly hoping to write a few more as March is traditionally a busy month with birthdays for the boys of Team Bagnall and Mothers’ Day.  In addition, to those known events there have a couple of other significant events that I am sure you will find of interest. Read more

Ezra’s 2nd Birthday

No signs of triskaidekaphobia or indeed friggatriskaidekaphobia on Friday 13th March 2015, for this auspicious day saw our son celebrate his second birthday.  Ezra was born on the 13th March 2013 weighing 8lb 13oz, with all those 13’s there is no way he can be superstitious about that prime integer.   Not that at two years old he has any inkling of the nature of superstitions or indeed that it is even his birthday.  There is no doubt he will get used to the idea of having a birthday on a Friday 13th, indeed he only has to wait for 5 years and 2020 for it to happen again.

Unfortunately I was unable to take the day off work and both Éowyn and Amélie were at school, Ezra spent the majority of his birthday with his mum, but even his mum wasn’t able to spend the full day with him.  This is because she has an even more pressing arrangement: an invitation to Éowyn’s Mother’s Day concert at school.  Therefore while Lucinda spent an hour at a concert in her honour Nanny came to look after her youngest grandson.

We could not let Ezra’s day pass that easily though, could we?  So I left work early arriving back home at 16:00 just in time to look after Amélie and the birthday boy while Lucinda picked up Éowyn and her friend Billy from Spanish after school club.  Our neighbour’s boy, Blake, then joined us to make it a little more of a party atmosphere.  Yes, they were both ostensibly Éowyn’s friends but both are boys and they know Ezra very well and to be perfectly honest Ezra hasn’t really got any friends.

When you have you first child you join the local N.C.T. club and meet new parents in the same situation, forge friendships and the children naturally become friends.  Indeed Blake and Billy are children of friends that we met through our N.C.T. class.  This is not the case with the second child, although there some from our N.C.T. group have gone on to have a second child giving Amélie a ready-made friend, but it is certainly not the case with the third.  Thus Éowyn has had ready made friends since her birth, Amélie and, even more so, Ezra are going to have to go out into the big wide world and make their own friends.

Éowyn and the boys were a little hyper after a long week at school and so we had to mould that energy into games.  Lucinda had set up a treasure trail for them, with clues pointing to the ultimate prize.  With a bit of prompting they solved the clues and retrieved there Red-Nose Day related prizes.  Yes, not only was Friday 13th March 2015 Ezra’s second birthday it was the 30th anniversary Red-Nose Day, a day that saw them pass the £1,000,000,000 mark.

After a rest for a party meal musical statues and musical bumps were the next focus for their energy with more prizes, this time in the form of sweets and before you knew it Ezra’s party was over.  There was just time for him to blow out the 2-shaped candle on his birthday cake before bed and a well-earned rest for Mommy and Daddy.

It was not, however, Ezra’s only birthday party.  The weekend prior to his birthday, was an F.A. Cup weekend (although less said about West Bromwich Albion’s performance the better) and as such there was no Premier League football (not strictly true as there was one errant match that had been rescheduled to take advantage of both teams lack of interest in the F.A. Cup).  Usually this would mean a weekend off for me, however IMG doesn’t like me taking weekends off.  This weekend saw the start of our latest acquisition Major League Soccer.  Since this is the start of a contract and not really sure what we were going to get or exactly what we were doing with it, I went in to shepherd the first weekend.

Now for those of you for who the letters MLS or indeed Major League Soccer mean nothing, it is the United States version of the Premier League (although without being too unkind the standard is some way off the latter).  So with evening kick-offs on the West Coast of the United States this meant overnights for yours truly.  It has been a long time since I have done overnights and although in themselves it wasn’t too bad, I have felt jet-lagged ever since.

Nevertheless this did mean that although the day time was for sleeping, with three little ones this wasn’t going to happen that easily (although I did pretty well on the Saturday), we could do something during the day.  Therefore we invited Nanny Fran, Auntie Liz, Auntie Mary, Great Uncle Michael and Great Auntie Yvonne for a celebration of Ezra‘s birthday.

Lucinda’s mum and dad were away for the weekend in the Isle of Wight else we would have made a bigger event, although with hindsight the fact that I had only had 3 hours sleep did start to take its toll and so I was glad there were only 5 guests.

I think Ezra enjoyed being the centre of attention although being the 3rd sibling he wasn’t the centre of attention for that long.  His sisters hogged the limelight as much as they could.  However, they were not the one getting presents and since it was his party we let him open the presents that we given him.  He was very excited with his Peppa Pig Weeble set.  As mentioned previously it is his favourite programme (although he insists on calling it Georgie Pig) so having his own Peppa Pig characters that his sisters have to ask him to play with gives him a little more power.  He also received some more wooden track and a new train for his train set.  Now he can play choo-choos with a bigger tracks and even had points so he can have a second route.

With all the new, boy-related, toys that he received for his birthday the toys that he has taken to bed and played with the most was, somewhat predictably, the cheapest. While buying Ezra’s birthday present Lucinda saw the first edition of a collectible magazine set.  With all those collectible magazine sets, the first edition is 99p to entice you in.  This magazine set was aimed at young children and was about my favourite subject as a small child, dinosaurs.  With the first magazine you received an adult triceratops and a baby tyrannosaurus rex.  We thought he might like them but did not foresee the fact that he will not put them down and they would take precedence over his weeble George.

With the advent of Ezra’s second birthday comes the next health care check up.  When you have your first child you look in the books and the guidelines to make sure that your little one is meeting all the targets (or in Éowyn’s case exceeding them all), this becomes less important as the second and third come along.  Nevertheless when a letter comes from the doctors wanting you to make an appointment to check on your third child’s development you start to look at the list of targets and mentally tick them off.

Ezra is meeting and exceeding them all except the target number of words.  By a child’s second birthday they expect them to know 50 words.  When we received the letter we though about all the words that Ezra says and could not make it passed thirty.  Slightly concerned about this I jokingly said to Ezra that he needed to pull his finger out and start saying a few more words.  He has taken that chiding to heart and is seemingly coming out with a new word or two everyday and stringing them together.  We haven’t seen the health worker yet but Ezra now knows his fifty words and all is good.

Two days after Ezra’s birthday was Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday, whichever you prefer.  As usual it wasn’t much of a rest for Lucinda as I was at work but, as mentioned above, there was a celebration at Éowyn’s school on the Friday before (Friday 13th, Ezra’s birthday and Red-Nose day – what a busy day).  The Mother’s day concert started with songs sung by the children followed by cakes and cup of tea for all the mums.  Not exactly relaxing considering everything else that was going on, but it is the thought that counts.

I will leave other family related news to the next update and let Ezra have an update all of his own for his birthday (well, nearly all of his own).

Peace and Love




A New Addition to the Family

Sorry, I got your hopes up then didn’t I?  No we are still waiting for his arrival, the new addition to the family of which I speak is the new car.  Bertie Beast (as the girls have named it) is now a part of our family.  Nellie Bug (Lucinda’s Nissan Micra) has been replace by Bertie Beast (Lucinda’s new-ish S-Max).  It was a sad day to see Nellie Bug emptied of all personal possessions and left on a strange garage forecourt.  This was tempered by actually driving the Beast away and playing with all the gadgets that it has.  It took a while to make the decision as to which MPV (7-seater) to buy; we decided that the S-Max was the best fit.  It then has taken a while (Lucinda’s appendicitis put pay to the first attempt at buying a car) until we found the actual car with all the extras that we wanted for the price that we could afford.  We are very pleased with our new arrival.

It was the first time that the girls experienced such a change in their lives.  Lucinda and I have both had the same cars for the girls’ lives and thus it must be quite a strange experience for them to see something that has been quite a big part of their lives left at a strange place while we drive off in a new car.  Éowyn has experienced hire cars (and vans) and so leaving our car behind to drive off with a new one wasn’t a novel idea but not taking it back and picking up ‘our‘ car most certainly is.  Éowyn is obviously a little older and so we can explain the situation to her and she takes it on board, comprehending a new experience.  Amélie, on the other hand, isn’t really old enough to completely grasp the notion.  It must have been playing on her mind because a couple of days after we had picked up the Beast she said ‘Mommy, I really miss Nellie-Bug.‘  It nearly broke Lucinda’s heart.

As I mentioned in the last write up the girls are now sharing the same room, in bunk beds.  This is quite a change for both of them.  Éowyn now sleeps five feet (1.5 metres) off the ground and needs to climb a ladder to go to sleep (or descend it to go to the toilet).  Amélie has moved from a cot (with sides) to the bottom bunk of a bunk bed, a full sized bed.  They both have to adapt to sharing a room and the disturbances that this brings.  So far it has not been too bad.  Initially they kept themselves awake talking and shining their torches at each other, but since this beginning the novelty has worn off they go to bed and for the most part of it go to sleep quite quickly and stay asleep until dawn.

That is not to say they have slept through the night every night, but then neither did they do so when they had separate rooms.  Amélie, especially has woke us a number of times recently crying and visibly upset although she has been very much asleep.  This, we think, is because she has started to dream vivid dreams, her subconscious attempting to make sense of the day’s experiences.  Éowyn went through a very similar stage at about the same age and although they are very much reduced in frequency she still has them occasionally, then again so does Lucinda.

Although both girls have seemingly adapted to sharing a room quite quickly it would be nice, especially when they get older, for them to have separate rooms.  Not that three bedrooms is a bad thing but we live in a terraced house and so the communal rooms aren’t massive either and so we are on the look out for a larger house, ideally four bedrooms, but anything with more space and room to expand into.  Unfortunately, houses that fit that description in the areas we want for the price that we can afford are few and far between.  Unless one has a bottomless pit of money there is always compromise whenever you buy something.  For instance the S-Max was a compromise as it was a year older than we would have preferred (to be honest I would have preferred a new one but that was completely out of the question) and silver (not the colour that Lucinda wanted) but ticked the remainder of the boxes.  With houses there are more boxes that need ticking and although we have been to see a number of houses lately the compromises that they have are just too great at the moment.  This will probably have to be put on the back burner until junior is a little older as he will be unashamedly (and rightly) hog our attention for the next few months.

However the challenge over the next few months will be to get the balance correct and share our time with the girls.  This onus will probably fall on me more than Lucinda as she will be taking more of the bulk of baby care.  Not that I am a shy of doing my share and I am sure that regular readers of this website will testify.  Every now and then though Lucinda will throw me by changing the goal posts.  This happened at breakfast last week.  I asked the girls what they wanted for breakfast and Amélie asked for ‘Crocodile feet‘.  I laughed because I thought she was being funny.  Now that sounds precocious for a two year old but the girls play a game where they pretend to be waitresses and take a food order from all the adults in the room.  They pretend to write the order down and then return with the order a short while later.  It is a good game to test their memories and I like to push the boundaries so instead of the more usual ‘ham sandwich’ or ‘spaghetti bolognese’ I try to gross them our with items such as ‘Rhinoceros Toenails’ or ‘Camel eyelash sandwiches’ which the girls find hilariously funny. Thus when Amélie said ‘Crocodile feet’ I thought she was doing the same.  However when I opened the cupboard with the cereal boxes in I found a new cereal in the coco pops family called Croc prints which are crocodile feet shaped chocolate covered cereals.  She knew what she wanted.

Before the snow returns (yes really!) at the weekend we have had a couple of vernal days with temperatures hitting 17ºC and so I took full advantage performing the first mow of the year.  Thus the garden is ready for the next new arrival even if the house isn’t fully there yet.  At least Lucinda’s bag is packed and the S-Max is fully fuelled, let’s just hope that the snow that is forecast isn’t too deep or brings the traffic to a standstill at the wrong time!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there and let us see if the little one will appear on his due date.  So stand by for I believe that the next write up will be the one you are after until then

Peace and Love


Not many photos but here are the girls saying goodbye to Nellie-Bug