Nine months old

It seems a while since I updated the blog, so apologies to all you regular readers.   The heatwave has left us and the weather has returned to a more expected British summer and Éowyn has settled into a really fun phase at the moment.  She is sleeping through the night (let’s hope that hasn’t jinxed it) and her teething has subsided once again, (still no teeth!)  Her separation anxiety has diminished somewhat.  Obviously she still likes to know where her parents are, but if there is someone entertaining her or she is engrossed in play then she is not quite as clingy until she realises that she is not sure where Mum and Dad have gone.   Will keep you all up to date with how that progresses.

There are some incidences in all of our lives when there seems to be something guiding our way, or looking out for us.  Some people regard it the hand of a deity, others: fate and others dismiss it entirely.  I’m not sure exactly what it is but when it happens I get a warm a fuzzy feeling inside, although that could be wind.  The latest example of this kind of coincidence, revolves around our choice of child minder.  As you may be aware, when Lucinda returns to work we will require a small amount of child care.  Unfortunately, as we both work shift patterns this will not be the same day every week and it seems that most nurseries/ child-minders only accept set days each week and we are only looking for around 4-6 days a month.

When Lucinda was a child she would quite often stay at her nanny Vera’s (after whom Éowyn takes her middle name).  Lucinda obviously enjoyed the attention that she would receive from her nan but also enjoyed playing with a girl, Jo who was a neighbour of Vera’s.  When nanny Vera passed away there was no reason for Lucinda to visit that part of Staines and a childhood friendship was lost.  Fast forward twenty-odd years and one of Lucinda’s friends, Liz, that we met through NCT is best friends with Jo.  Jo it turns out is a registered child-minder who maybe able to take Éowyn under her wing.

Liz’s son, James, was Baptised on 12th July and Jo, being a close friend of Liz, was there and so we had an opportunity to meet her.  Me for the first time and Lucinda for the first time since the early 1980’s!  Lucinda and Jo seemed to turn the clock back and were soon catching up on two decades of gossip.  Jo impressed us with her attitude to child-minding and the activities that she does with the kids in her care and she is exactly what we were looking for in a child-minder. So whether is is the finger of fate, nanny Vera keeping an eye on her great-granddaughter or just coincidence we have hopefully found the best answer to one of the major worries when returning to work, who is going to look after your child.

Lucinda and Jenny took Éowyn and Leo to Syon house to play in the Snakes and Ladders soft play area for children and toddlers.  Éowyn thoroughly enjoyed herself especially the ball pit and on the bouncy castle.  Fortunately as the schools had not yet broken for the summer holiday there was space each of the areas for the little ones to play safely.  I don’t think that this will be the case for the next few weeks, so I will have to wait until September until I can have a go!  As you can see from the photos, Éowyn did not want to leave, although it completely wore her out and she slept soundly that afternoon.

Éowyn took charge of her first vehicle.  While we were on holiday in Noss Mayo Lucinda won some Early Learning Centre vouchers and so we wanted to make good use of them.  Therefore after much deliberation we decided on the Smart Trike.  It will hopefully last her many years as it grows from a parent controlled fancy pushchair to a fully working pedal trike.  As you can see from the photos below she loves it and that first journey to Nan and Granddad’s is one that she will make many times on her trike.

Monday marked our second wedding anniversary.  Unfortunately I was working but Lucinda and Éowyn paid me a visit and we went for lunch, but not before the girls in the office got to play with ÉowynÉowyn was a little wary, if not scared, at first.  This was understandable as it has been many months since she last came to mediahouse and she has become more aware of her surroundings since then.  However, after a short time of hiding on daddy she soon was entertaining the girls and demonstrating her many talents.  We will endeavour not to leave it quite as long next time.

Please enjoy the new photos both below and on Flickr.

Peace and love

My First Holiday

As you can probably guess from the title of this entry, Éowyn (and her parents) have just returned from a week’s holiday in Devon as a break for Lucinda’s birthday.  This was Éowyn’s first holiday (we are counting the trip to Colchester as a mini-break) and so an important stage in anyone’s life and the furthest she has ever been from her place of birth.  To ease her (and us) into the idea of family holidays we hired a three bedroom cottage from one of the guys from work.  It is in the South Hams village of Noss Mayo overlooking the Newton creek and Yealm estuary along with it’s twin from across the creek Newton Ferrers.

The Devon and Cornish peninsula always appear (to an outsider like me) to have peculiar microclimates and towns only separated by a few miles can experience very different weather.  This is in no small part to the geography of the area, high moorlands, V-shaped valleys and numerous coves and inlets, providing shelter or acting as a funnel depending on the direction of the winds.  And so it was the case with our trip.  The forecast wasn’t good according to the national weather reports and we feared the worse.  The week did start a little wet but soon gave way to warmer, drier weather.

Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers sit either side of a V-shaped valley and as such walking anywhere was hard work and kept you fit.  There is a voss that links Noss Mayo to Newton Ferrers which is accessible at low tide else it is a longer walk to Bridgend to cross the creek .  Due to the timing of the low tides we only managed to cross the voss once, and then only just.  The tide came in quiet quickly and by the time we had crossed to the other side the voss was completely under water.

We took it relatively easy on our holiday and didn’t really do too much driving once we were there.  We spent a day in Padstow to meet up with a friend of Lucinda’s from university.  Ruth was down on holiday with her boyfriend Rob and their dog Rooney.  It was the first time that they had met since leaving university, although they have kept in touch regularly via snail mail.  They have vowed to keep in touch via letters instead of e-mail/ text message/ instant messaging/ social networking sites and a plethora of alternative ways of communication that permeate modern living.

One of my good friends Andy popped down for a day or so and took the headland walk out of Noss Mayo.  We took it very gently and took most of the afternoon, especially pushing Éowyn in her pushchair.  The views were spectacular and would highly recommend it for anyone spending sometime in the area.  The walk ends at the Ship Inn which is the perfect place to end such an adventure.  The staff were very friendly and the food fantastic, if a little pricey but you could not grumble about the size of the portions!

The only other major excursion we did was to visit Delamore House in nearby Cornwood.  It had an exhibition of sculpture and paintings.  Not usually my kind of thing but some of the sculptures and you can see on the Flickr pages were excellent, especially the work by Oxfordshire artist Daren Greenhow, anyone that can make a Veló-ciraptor out of old bicycle parts (get it? Veló – ciraptor.  Oh, forget it) gets my vote.

Éowyn seemed to really enjoy herself during the whole holiday and, apart from the first night, slept through the night.  This is probably due to the fact that she had both her parents undivided attention for a week.  She also took another big step on her development is so much that we stopped her dream feed.  Now she is regularly taking solids the need for that extra feed disappears but we were still nervous to stop it.  However, there has been no adverse reaction and the fact that she hasn’t woke is proof that she no longer needs it.  She is now an adept at crawling, and has been readying herself for the next stage: walking.  She regularly pulls herself up to her knees but as yet has not found the strength to stand.  Yesterday that changed and for the first time she pulled herself to a standing position using the pouffe.  Her latest entertainment though is to crawl into the kitchen and watch the washing machine.  If it isn’t on she gets quite annoyed and bangs her hands on the floor.  I suppose it is better than being a telly addict…

Unfortunately upon our return we have had some bad news.  Éowyn’s Great Great Auntie Iris has passed away.  She had a bleed on the brain caused by a cerebral aneurysm and although initially it did not seem life threatening she contracted an infection and her condition worsened.  She passed away on the morning of Sunday 24th May 2009  at the age of 88, one week short of her 64th Wedding Anniversary.  Our thoughts are with her husband, my Great Uncle Albert.  Rest well Auntie Iris.

Great-Great Auntie Iris
Great-Great Auntie Iris