Has Spring, sprung?

It seems that we go from one extreme to another with our weather.  After a week of freezing temperatures and snow across the land, we now have unseasonably warm weather with the mercury touching 17°C (19°C in some places!) and the news that the south east of England is in drought conditions due to lack of rainfall.  Not bad for February!

Éowyn’s behaviour has improved immensely.  Obviously it has been half-term and so we have been able to spend time with her, without her feeling that she is being dumped from one place to another.  Now she is back at school and we return to the old routine we need to be conscious of not letting the impetus and her behaviour slip.  So far, she has been very well behaved and is receiving copious amounts of encouragement from Mommy and Daddy for this, which she is responding to in the manner we would like.

Last weekend (the end of the half term break) we travelled up the M40 to West Bromwich and Nanny Fran (and Auntie Liz of course). We arrived Saturday morning, dropped the girls off with auntie Liz and headed to Great Uncle Albert’s house to help get it ready for an estate agent viewing.  As you may recall Uncle Albert passed away at the end of January and now there is the difficult task of sorting out his estate, which includes selling his house. Myself and Lucinda joined Nanny Fran, her cousin Ray and Uncle Albert’s friend Yvonne to try and sort the house out.  His house had been broken into during the week but it was difficult for us to determine what had been taken as we did not (obviously) have an inventory. It is quite upsetting to think that some burglar had been in Uncle Albert and Auntie Iris’s house and gone through their things.  We found it very difficult looking through someone’s personal effects but nevertheless fascinating at the same time, especially looking through the effects of someone who has lived for so long and through many interesting times.  One of the most interesting things that we found was an old newspaper (The Birmingham Mail) that was lining one of his drawers.  It was from Friday 28th March 1958 and there was an article bemoaning the fact that televising football matches was having a detrimental effect on attendances.  Specifically, the F.A. Cup semi-final replay at Highbury (it doesn’t mention the teams but I believe it to be Manchester United (who won the game 5-3 but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the Final 2-0) v Fulham and was actually played on the 26th March 1958) where there were only 38,000 supporters in a ground that could hold 68,000.  It is only a small article but it mentions the fact that the grounds are poorly constructed without a thought for the fans so a ‘lukewarm soccer supporter‘ will stay at home if he has a TV set and the clubs will miss his two shillings!  The article concludes that ‘Big games belong to the nation and television is a link.  It must not become the game’s ball and chain.‘ So the arguments between television rights and the fan that turns up every week to watch his (or her) team haven’t changed that much in 54 years!

Éowyn and Amélie were very well behaved for their Auntie Liz and were extremely excited to see their Nanny Fran when we returned from Great Barr.  They both like to see their Nanny Fran (and Auntie Liz) and enjoy playing with the toys that Nanny Fran has at her house (some of which were mine!).  Nanny Fran looked after Amélie over night so Lucinda and I got a little bit of a easier night, although someone should have told Éowyn!

We returned back to Middlesex Sunday afternoon (so it really was a flying visit) so that Éowyn could have an early night ready for her return to pre-school after the half term break.  And so Monday morning Éowyn returned to the routine of schooling.  I was  off work and so Lucinda, Amélie and I headed to Kingston-Upon-Thames for some shopping.  Amélie needed new shoes and I needed a new suit for a black tie event (but more of that later) as my old suit is far too big for me as I now weigh 4 stone (56 pounds for Americans or 25.5kgs for everyone else) less than I did the last time I had to wear that suit.  One successful shopping trip later we returned home with everything we had gone for and the cherry on the cake was the fact that Éowyn received glowing praise from her pre-school teachers.

As I mentioned in the last write up, Éowyn has stopped wearing nappies to bed.  This has been on the whole a great success however, whether it was worries about going to pre-school or just because she was going to bed very tired but she had accidents two nights running.  We have been lulled into a false sense of security and believed that she would just go from the safety of nappies to not wearing nappies in a heartbeat.  Obviously it is never that easy and she has done remarkably well but now we need to help her.  So, when Lucinda and I go to bed which is usually a couple or three hours after Éowyn we have taken to waking her and leading her to the potty and trying to get her to have a wee so hopefully she will then last through the night or just get into the habit of getting out of bed when she recognises the need.

Wednesday, Lucinda was working so before I headed to Chiswick and work I did the usual double drop off of Amélie to Jo’s and Éowyn to pre-school.  I also had to make sure that I had my new suit, dress shirt and dickie bow.  For IMG mediahouse were sponsoring a table at the RTS Television Journalism Awards which was held at the Hilton in Park Lane.  It was my first award ceremony and although thoroughly exciting it was also very humbling to be there.  We work in television but it puts our work into sharp perspective when you hear the stories of the embedded and uncover journalists that risk their lives daily to bring the truth to our television schedules.  Indeed the evening was somewhat overshadowed by the death of Marie Colvin an American journalist working for the Sunday Times in Syria.  Indeed the list of the those journalists that had lost their lives in the line of duty this past year was sobering as were the stories that the won many of the journalists their awards.  Sports television doesn’t seem half as important any more.

I returned home at 0100 but unfortunately didn’t manage to get the 5 hours of sleep I was hoping for.  Lucinda had called me in the afternoon to say that Amélie had been sick at Jo’s and so to prevent the spread of any possible virus that she may have she would have to be dropped at Nanny and Granddad’s, although Éowyn would still need to be dropped off at Jo’s.  Amélie’s sickness continued through the night and the next morning, and indeed throughout Friday.  Unfortunately because we have begun to test her milk protein intolerance we are unsure whether the sickness was due to a reaction to milk protein or whether it was indeed a virus.  So once she has fought this sickness we will have to go back a step on testing her milk protein intolerance and see if it happens again, that will prove whether it was the milk protein intolerance or just a virus.  However, the poor girl has been suffering, which is never good to see and it has affected her sleeping which therefore means that neither Lucinda or I got much sleep either.  But she has come out of the other side of it now and just needs to regain her strength.

Therefore, if you will excuse me I will take advantage of a day off and try and put some sleep back into the sleep bank but before I go I am afraid that I have some more bad news.  The sister of one of my Mom’s friends and my eldest sister’s god mother passed away on 20th February.  Auntie Anne (as we called her) ran a B&B in St Ives, Cornwall for many years a place that we spent a number of holidays when we were children.  She leaves her sister, Teresa and our thoughts are with her.

Peace and love


Perhaps it needs new batteries

I know it has only been just over a week but it has been a little eventful and so I thought I had better do a little update as the following weekend (my Birthday) maybe also be a little eventful (hopefully!)

As I mentioned in the previous write up, Amélie, although not rolling has begun to move herself around.  We are not used to this just yet and it is something that we need to be across and quickly.  Friday, Lucinda was getting ready to go round to see her parents.  She put Amélie on the sofa and popped into the hall to fetch her coat like she has done dozens of times before.  In the seconds that she was out of the room, Amélie had flipped herself off the sofa onto an open tub of Sudacrem.  Lucinda rushed into to the scream to see her face down with blood pouring from her eye and her right arm blue.  Obviously she panicked and called me at work.  I told her to take Amélie to the walk-in clinic (because all the A&E departments around here have been closed down).  So Lucinda dropped Éowyn off at her parents and rushed to the walk-in clinic at Ashford hospital.  Meanwhile I rushed out of work and battled with Friday night, rush hour traffic and met them at Ashford.

By the time I got to Ashford, they still had not been seen by the doctor but Amélie was quite content on Lucinda’s knee and gave me a big smile as I walked into the waiting room.  Presently the doctor examined her and was not too concerned.  It appears she has been lucky,  the Sudacrem tub broke under the impact and so dissipated the energy saving her from serious injury but she was cut on the broken shard.  The cut starts at the top of her nose and runs along the underside of her right eye.  It should heal fine although she will have a bit of a shiner for the next week or so.  (See photos below).  Her arm going blue was possibly due to her pinching her brachial artery, a temporary effect.  She was very lucky and a lesson learnt!

Amélie has been such a good girl lately.  She is still enjoying her solids, however she is still refluxing but possibly less than before (or that might just be our acceptance of the situation) and most importantly she is still sleeping through the night.  Her last feed tends to be about 2300 and she then lasts until at least 0600 the next morning.  Seven hours of sleep!  Bliss!

Éowyn too has been on her best behaviour lately.  Although she occassionally forgets, ‘Please‘ and ‘Thank-you‘ have definitely found their way back into her vocabulary.  It looks like I will have to buy that Gruffalo!  She tried upping the ante last week.  ‘I said ‘Please’ so I have a Gruffalo.‘  I replied in the affirmative, ‘And a mouse.‘  I like her style.  Nevertheless we thought that this reward system might be useful so we decided to agree to a mouse if she began to use her potty.

So toilet training has begun.  We let Éowyn choose her own potty (a Froggie Potty) and asked her how many times she would have to use it before she earnt a mouse.  ‘Ten‘ she answered (I don’t think she fully got the question and may have got away with a smaller number) so we agreed.  At the rate she is going I think she will earn her mouse by the middle of next week.

Reward seems to be a good way of encouraging Éowyn she definitely responses to praise (and chocolate).  Lucinda’s mum asked Éowyn how many chocolate buttons she wanted after eating her tea.  ‘Ten‘ came the answer.  Lucinda asked her so say it in Spanish ‘Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro, Cinco, Seis, Siete, Ocho, Nueve, Diez.‘ she duly replied.  Stunned she got her buttons.  It is amazing what can be done for chocolate!

Éowyn’s has a couple of new sayings, the first is more of a fanfare sound (you know the D-Daa) when she does something that she is particularly proud of and the other is a sad indictment of modern Western children’s toys.  When something is not doing what she thinks it should, whether it is made for the purpose or not, she will declare: ‘It’s not working, perhaps it needs new batteries.‘  This can be applied to anything, including her old potty, irrespective of whether it actually takes batteries or not.

She has also taken to bouncing a lot.  When you ask her why she keeps bouncing she replies ‘I love bouncing‘.  What can you say to that?  She is also incredibly loving towards Amélie and quite often you will find her holding Amélie’s hand or stroking her head.  We are hoping that it will continue as they grow older together.  We are also hoping that Amélie will develop Éowyn’s love of reading and books in general.  Amélie will listen attentively when I read to Éowyn, which if Éowyn had her way would be 8 hours a day!  Éowyn’s favourite book changes regularly though, which is good.  The current favourite is the Norwegian fairy tale The Three Billy Goats Gruff, which has pushed out recent favourites Zog and Duck Soup.  I really enjoy reading to her and always ensure that I am home to tuck her into bed and read 3 stories of her choice.  (That may have to change when the stories become longer!)

As you can see from the photos below it is Red-Nose Day on Friday.  My friend Lee (Georgia’s dad) is attempting to raise money by posting a joke a day (joke can be a loose term for some of them) on his facebook page, so please pop by and have a look and if you feel like donating and you don’t have a facebook account (I know there are a few of you out there) then you can donate here.  If you want a taster of his stand-up show and you have about 6 minutes to spare then click here.

One final thing before I leave you.  My old uni pal Fabian became a father for the first time.  Kenan Palmyre was born on 4th March so welcome to the world little Kenan and congratulations to Fabian and Carol.  Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood.

Peace and Love