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Not the update you were expecting

Please note that I have moved this website to a private server, so for further updates and the photos to this one please click this link and update your bookmarks (favourites) with www.baggieandlucy.com

For those of you that are waiting with baited breath this is  not the update you are waiting for.  It is still 5 days before Lucinda’s due date and if Éowyn is anything to go by then we will still be waiting in the second week of October for our new arrival.

The manic stage at work is slowly calming down and so I am able to spend more time at home.  This isn’t as relaxing as it sounds as we are frantically trying to make the house welcoming for a newborn, hence there will be a dearth of photos with this update but let’s face it, you have been spoilt lately.

Keen eyed among you will have noticed a slightly different look to the website, this is because I have moved it to a friend’s server to give me the ability to do a few more fancy things, should I need to.  It may mean that some of your old links will need to be changed as I will not be updating the original after this update.  I have tried to keep the look the same but there are some subtle differences and one big one.  The Flickr link will randomly show one photo every 7 seconds from the Éowyn set in my Flickr account.  OK, I can tell that I have lost my audience.

Éowyn is still showing signs of precociousness.  Her latest skills include reading.  I say reading she recognises the eleven words that her nanny has written on flash cards.  This are:  Mum, Dad, Nanny, Granddad, Éowyn, Cat, Dog, Leg, Cake, Cup and Hat.   Whether the recognition of words is the same as reading is debatable but we do get her to spell them out at the same time.  I took her to feed the ducks this morning (Ducks! Bread!) and pointed out the difference between mommy ducks and daddy ducks and then she referred to them all, correctly, by gender, a keen ornithologist if ever I saw one.  She has also acquired (borrowed) a pair of binoculars (from her childminder) and sat on the sofa watching the telly through them (the wrong way round!).  Another of her favourite skills at the moment is shouting ‘Stop’ when you are approaching a red traffic light, and ‘Go’ when they turn to green.  Talk about having a backseat driver!

Congratulations to Neil and Emma on their marriage on the 10th September.  An excellent couple of days (yes couple of days, ceremony on one and big party on the second!).  They entrusted me with taking the photographs I hope that they have enough usable ones!  And congratulations to Jenny and John on the birth of their second child Jacob.  Hopefully they can give us lots of tips as their first child, Leo is only a couple of weeks older than Éowyn so the age gap is about the same.

I will bid my leave of you now, and hopefully the next time you read an update of this website will be to announce our new family member.  Until then…

Peace and Love

Baggie

Please note that I have moved this website to a private server, so for further updates and the photos to this one please click this link and update your bookmarks (favourites) with www.baggieandlucy.com

Another Quick update

Another day off, this is becoming a habit!  This time the lawn has been mown.  It was starting to resemble a jungle for it has been quite a while since it was last cut and August has been good grass growing weather  It is no word of a lie that I took the strimmer to it before I even attempted to use the lawnmower!  I’m not proud of that but as you know I have not been at home much and I don’t think the neighbours would take too kindly to me mowing at 0100.  Plus I am pretty sure that I would not do a good job in total darkness.  Admittedly if you look at the lawn now you would probably say that I haven’t done a good job full stop, but at least it is of a respectable length.  It is all too grown up for me!

Tuesday, the last day of August, we had our first day off together as a family for the first time since our holiday in Italy at the end of June.  Throughout July Lucinda had worked each weekend while I worked each weekday and throughout August, as you know, I have worked.  It was really nice to be together as a family and spend some time together as a threesome before the new baby makes its entrance.  Hopefully now that the majority of the hard work has been done and the new workload becomes routine we can settle back into a routine of our own.

It has been nice for me to be able to read Éowyn her three (yes three) bedtime stories again.  However, gone are the old favourites of ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘The Whale and the Snail’, ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’, and ‘Room on the Broom’ for classics like ‘The Gingerbread Man’.  In fact, I am a little perturbed that she seems to favour ‘The Gingerbread Man’ it hasn’t exactly got a happy ending, unless you are the sly old fox. ‘Not my gumdrop buttons!’  At least it is better than reading the ‘In the Night Garden books’, I just can’t compete with Sir Derek Jacobi’s oration of Makka Pakka, Akka Wakka, Mikka Makka Moo, Makka Pakka Appa Yakka, Ikka Akka, Ooo!

Éowyn’s favourite pastime at the moment though is visiting mommy pig at the bottom of Nanny and Granddad’s garden.  That sounds strange, but at the back of Lucinda’s parents’ garden there is, what amounts to, a small holding.  There are some goats, a sheep and until recently a pig.  However, the pig is now a mommy pig and has 7 little piglets.  Éowyn is fascinated with them and keeps picking up windfall apples from the garden and running to the pig.  When she is there she launches the apple into the pen shouting “PIG! APPLE!”  It is hilarious and it is not just with the pig.  Lucinda took her round the lake to feed the ducks.  There she was standing at the shore throwing the bread into the water shouting “DUCKS! BREAD!”  Perhaps my daughter has a future as a zookeeper.  Somehow “ÉOWYN! PEAS!” doesn’t quite work.

Éowyn has become much more comfortable on the phone.  There was a time that she would be jabbering away but as soon as you put the phone next to her she would clam up.  Not any more.  She will quite happily chat to you down the phone, and has left messages on Nanny Fran’s answerphone and spoke to me at work telling me that she had drawn on her legs (see photos below).

Time is precious so I will not bore you any longer, enjoy the photos and stay tuned.  Lucinda is officially on maternity leave now so the countdown has truly begun.

Peace and Love

Baggie

I’ve got five minutes…

It literally is only five minutes or so (OK about half an hour) on only my second day off work this month and it is raining.  Therefore the lawn can wait to be mowed and I can take the opportunity to write a quick update.

Since work is full occupying my time at the moment (up to 18 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week – the glamour of television) I am not seeing an awful amount of either Lucinda or Éowyn and so I will have to regale a couple of tales second hand.

Éowyn is definitely growing up fast and seems quite advanced for her age.  She is only just 22 months old but has a vocabulary of at least 75 words and probably over 100.  She can string words together to make simple sentence.  Can recognise colours, shapes, numbers, animals, my car (and other cars of the same model) and Lucinda’s car (and likewise other cars of the same model), count to fourteen (?!) and is beginning to say her a,b,c’s.

Lucinda and Éowyn paid a visit to Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz during my mad build up to the channel launch as she still is having difficulty getting about due to her knee injury and certainly can not drive to come and visit us.  This was a change from Skyping Nanny Fran that we try to do once a week.  I think Éowyn wore Nanny Fran out, keeping her on the go for the entire time she was there.  She also astounded her Nanny with her ability to recognise numbers and to go one stage further.  Éowyn picked up one of her number blcoks and said “Number 9, Nanny.”  Nanny Fran replied that it was and that she was a clever girl.  Éowyn then turned it upside down, and said “No, number 6!”, giggled and ran off.  Now that is true understanding of the shapes of numbers, and humour in tricking people.  Don’t know where she gets that from… whistles innocently…

Éowyn has also begun to start to look for me when I am at work.  Éowyn will say “Daddy, where are you?” and Lucinda will tell her that I am at work and Éowyn will open the front door and go and look for me.  Lucinda is now having to be really careful.   Fortunately we have a green outside our house so she doesn’t run straight into the road but worrying nevertheless.

Lucinda’s parents have been golden, with me working I have been unable to do my share of child minding, they have been looking after Éowyn when Lucinda has been working  or socialising.  Éowyn loves it around their house, they have a big garden and a trampoline.  So she runs them ragged as she doesn’t want to be inside it is always “Outside!” and the point and the forlorn look.

Well my short amount of freetime is up and so I must do something constructive.  Please enjoy the photos below and hopefully I will be able to get another update in before we become a family of four.
Peace and Love

Baggie

A quick update

Time is something I have precious little of the moment.  The push to launch the channel and move to the realm of HD is in its final stages and so I will have little time to spend with my family yet alone update the website.  So I thought I would venture a little catch up while Éowyn catches 40 winks.

Éowyn is still coming on leaps and bounds.  her vocabulary is growing daily.  She can count to 14 (how or why not really sure) but always seems to miss out 7.  Not too worried yet.  She has also begun to identify shapes, circle, square and triangle, however circle is pronounced with a strong Black Country accent for some reason.  Although I still retain the vestiges of an accent, I do not think that I have ever pronounced circle as strongly as she does.  May be it is genetic!  She has also begun to string words together and her favourite phrase seems to be “Mommy, sit down now!”  She can identify my car (and cars of the same model) and Lucinda’s car (and cars of the same model) and recognise them from quite a distance.  Quite often before you do.

She thoroughly enjoys playing with Play-Doh and has to almost every day.  She also enjoys racing against you in the back garden.  A game that she calls “1, 2, 3, go!”  However, if you ever play it with her just bare in mind that it is quite rarely 1, 2, 3, go!  It can be any random number up to 9 (obviously not including 7) before she says “go” and she will be halfway down the garden before she shouts it!

Another new favourite is Skyping her Nanny Fran.  As we do not see Nanny Fran too often we try and Skype her at least once a week.  So much so that Éowyn will pick up out little laptop computer and say “Phone Nanny”.  She gets quite excited and dances and plays in front of the webcam and includes Nanny Fran in playing Play-Doh.  It is a good way for them to keep in touch.

Apologies for the brevity of this entry but I am sure that the photos will more than make up for it.  If possible I will attempt another update in August (although I am not promising anything) then it is September!  The month that our second born is due.  Rest assured there will be plenty of updates then.

Peace and Love

Baggie!

Heatwave!

And so, after the excitement of a trip abroad and a couple of weeks of the family being together, life settles back to the usual rhythm relatively (and disappointingly) quickly.  Work is in full flow for the changeover to HD and the foray into channel launch with associated studio and transmission build.  Interesting times lie ahead.  As do weeks of longs hours spent away from the family.  Myself and Lucinda sat down last night and realised that we only have one day off together between now and September.  So bubba nº2 better not come too early.

The weather has been fantastic over the last month with Wimbledon fortnight completed unaffected by rain, but somehow we are never satisfied.  It is the summer after all but I suppose although this weather is nice when you are on holiday, when you are trying to work it is another matter.  However, this is nothing; when I met up with Sanjiv in Italy he told me that he was glad to be in Italy away from the oppressive heat that they were experiencing in Delhi with temperatures over 45°C.  When we were in Italy we were disappointed that the weather was so poor and that it wasn’t hot enough for us to relax by the hotel pool.  After a couple of weeks of true summer weather Lucinda especially, can now appreciate the climate in Tuscany.  Being heavily pregnant is no fun in hot weather and Lucinda has been suffering with night time temperatures not dropping below 20°C and with no breeze to circulate the air preventing her from getting a god night’s sleep.

Éowyn has been taking full advantage of the fine weather though to play in the garden and splash around in her new paddling pool.  We are paranoid about keeping her topped up with sun tan lotion though.  She is so fair skinned and both myself and Lucinda burn very easily.  At least Éowyn doesn’t mind it and really enjoys wearing her hat.  She really enjoys going around Nanny and Granddad’s because their garden is so big and they have a trampoline!  Whenever she goes round she makes a bee line for the trampoline dragging anyone that will go with her.  Fortunately when her cousins are there they will happily take her there for as they enjoy it too.

Éowyn definitely knows her own mind and will not be easily dissuaded.  She has started to use the tears (doesn’t get very far with daddy) and throwing whatever she has in her hands to the ground.  It is funny when she hasn’t got anything in her hands to throw for she looks for something to pick up just so that she can throw it to the ground in feigned anger.

On the whole though we are very lucky.  She isn’t a naughty child and is quite content to play and learn.   As I mentioned in my last update, she is able to count to 10, name her colours, name a wide circle of people, recognise my car and Lucinda’s car, recognise animals and make the sound they make.  She has also started to sing a number of the nursery rhymes that we sing to her.  (I do use the word ‘sing’ loosely!) When I say sing she kind of mumbles parts of the rhymes and shouts out the words she knows. In fairness to her in the right tune and to the right beat.  A little like when you are singing along to a song that you like but don’t quite know the words to apart from maybe the first line of the chorus.  Or, for the more religious of you, when an unfamiliar hymn is sung and you join in with the Hallelujahs at the end.

Éowyn has also showed how good a big sister she will be.  One of Lucinda’s friends Vereena had her second child Olivia just about a month ago.  Lucinda has been to see her a couple of times since we have been back from Italy and has taken Éowyn with her.  We were unsure how she would be around a little child but, as with everything with Éowyn , we need not have worried.  Vereena sat Éowyn on her settee with a cushion on her lap and placed little Olivia on the cushion.  Éowyn was enthralled and kept pointing at Olivia’s eyes and ears and head and calling out the names.  When Vereena took Olivia off Éowyn and gave Éowyn as biscuit, Éowyn threw it to the ground in disgust, picked up the cushion, sat back on the settee, placed the cushion on her lap, pointed at Olivia and shouted ‘Baby’.  No one was going to have a munch while she was in the room.  The second time she went round she wasn’t as possessive but was very helpful.  Vereena gave Olivia a bottle and Éowyn wandered off and came back with the Infacol.  How she knew what it was for or where it was, we have no idea.  Very clever our little one.  Then when Vereena was changing Olivia’s nappy Éowyn went a fetched 3 nappies for her.  Hopefully she will be this helpful when her sibling arrives.

Anyhow, I have waffled enough I’m not sure how easy it will be for me to update the site over the next month or so, but I will aim for at least one update.  Therefore I am placating you with another large group of photos.  Enjoy and …

Peace and Love

Baggie

Éowyn has done what it took me nigh on another 22 years to do: take a trip on an aeroplane.  My first flight was in 1996 at the age of 23.5, Éowyn took her first flight just before she turned 20 months old.  Friends of mine Simon and Stefania were getting married on the 18th June in Stefania’s home town of San Baronto in Tuscany, Italy.  We therefore decided to make a holiday around the event and, considering other events due this year, make it our big holiday for the year.

The holiday didn’t start in the most positive fashion.  Our flight was due out at 09:00 BST and so we decided to push the boat out and have tea (or dinner for you Southerners) at the Earlybird at the local Harvester restaurant.  We went with Nanny and Granddad as we do relatively often.   Both Lucinda and I decided that we fancied the scampi and chips and duly ordered said meal each.  It tasted lovely and thought no more of it, and what followed may or may not have anything to do with it.

Cue 02:00 BST Lucinda begins throwing up.  This took us back to when she was pregnant with Éowyn and  suffered food poisoning from a re-heated quiche.  That time we went to A&E and she was kept in for a few hours to monitor Éowyn.  We were told then that the blood supply of the baby is separate to that of the mother so that the baby should be fine however it was important to keep up her fluid intake for dehydration was the real issue.  This did become a concern as Lucinda developed diarrhoea.

Cue 04:00 BST and I began to feel ill.  I did not vomit (which in hindsight was probably a bad thing as you will discover later) and only suffered the secondary issue (pun intended).  So now there was no way we were going to be nipping off to hospital to get Lucinda and the bubba checked out before our flight (and for a while it looked like we were not going to be able to make the flight!).  Fortunately about 06:00BST everything seemed to settle for a while so we decided to head to the airport (thanks Granddad).

At the airport we felt rough but (due to many years of experience) managed to check in and get through security and find the gate.  Éowyn was being golden, and enjoyed looking around the shops.  She eventually took me into one of the many shops in T5 Heathrow for she had spotted a World Cup ball and wanted it.  As she was being so good I bought it for her for it was something else to keep her amused with, for airside we were both suffering new waves of diarrhoea.  Fortunately we were out of sync with each other and could take it in turns to look after Éowyn.

We got on board and the plane filled up.  It was going to be a full flight.  As we taxied to the runaway we though we would give Éowyn her bottle to help with equalising her ears on take off.  However we were foiled by the French!  French air-traffic controllers to be precise who had decided to go on strike, thereby delaying all flights across French airspace.  So we sat on the runaway, on a full flight, feeling rough with a 20 month old that rapidly drank her milk thinking things couldn’t be much worse.  It wasn’t a good start.

However after about a 45 minute delay it was our turn to take off.  We should have had no fear.  Éowyn sat on my lap shouting ‘Wheeeee!’ all the way down the runway and into the air.  She loved it.  She was so well behaved on the flight, we could not have asked for any more from her.  When we landed I felt incredibly bad and rushed for the toilet as we got off the plane.  Somehow we not only got through customs, collected our luggage and hired a car.  We managed to drive the 100km or so from Pisa airport to the Hotel Monti in San Baronto, check in before collapsing on the bed in the hotel room.

I stayed in bed for the next day and a half, unable to keep any food or drink down.  I wouldn’t like to think how much weight I lost in that time frame but I was 9lbs lighter on my return and I ate nothing but pasta, pizza, cakes, beer and ice-cream while I was there.  It was not much fun for Lucinda as she had recovered the next day and could not explore too far as I was the only one insured on the car and walking was out of the question as it was torrential rain for those first few days.  The holiday had not started well.

I did, however, flush the toxins from my body and although weak and gaunt looking was able to get out of the hotel on the third day.  Although I took it easy in order to save myself for the wedding, which was on the fourth day (Friday 18th June) of our holiday.  My friend Hami also arrived on the third day just as I was beginning to feel better.  Another good friend Sanjiv arrived late on the Thursday and caught up with him on the morning of the wedding.

The wedding was fantastic.  The ceremony was held in the Church in San Baronto and the reception in Villa Rospigliosi in nearby Lamporecchio.  Villa Rospigliosi is a 17th Century Villa built for Pope Celemns IX as a summer retreat from the Vatican.  It was a fabulous setting for the wedding, Simon and Stef have true style!

We were in Italy for 10 days in total and took full advantage of being in the middle of Tuscany.  We visited Florence, Lucca, Vinci, Empoli, Pistoia, Lamporecchio but missed out on Pisa (although we did see the learning tower from about a mile away as we headed to the airport on the way back home).

For Éowyn it was a holiday of many firsts:

  • First time she had used her passport
  • First time in the airport
  • First flight
  • First foreign country
  • First trip on a bus
  • First wedding
  • First trip on a coach
  • First trip on a train
  • First time she has used another language on a trio (Ciao and Grazie)
  • First Father’s Day spent outside of England

Highlights of the trip (apart from the wedding) would have to be meeting up with Simon, Hami and Sanjiv for me.  The trips to Florence, Lucca and Vinci and the fact that we got to spend a considerable amount of time together as a family.  Something that we very rarely do for any length of time.  During our trip Éowyn is now confident counting up to 10.  Can name a considerable amount of colours (her favourites being Orange and Purple) and can tell you the noises that animals make.

Funny moment of the trip goes to Sanjiv.  Searching San Baronto for somewhere to have lunch (not an easy task I can tell you) Sanjiv spots some women perparing tables in a restaurant, calling over he shouts, “Scusi,” at this point we are impressed, we did not know that Sanjiv spoke Italian.  Then Uncle Albert kicked in, “What-a time do you-a open?” he said, putting on an ‘Allo ‘Allo Italian accent.  It makes me laugh now, just thinking about it!  He should of course have said: “Scusi, Bootiful Lay-dees!  What-a time do you-a open?”  At least he gave it a go.  I suffer from that English disease of being afraid of getting it wrong that I forget to try.  I keep promising myself to learn another language but never get around to it.  Perhaps I will rectify that some day.  Sanjiv’s language skills narrowly beat the result of New Zealand v Italy game into second place, but as England were abysmal the least we say about the World Cup the better.

Returning home we had one more event before returning to work.  Nanny Fran’s belated 60th birthday present.  Due to her accident (she is still in plaster) our surprise trip to Rome has been cancelled and instead we took her to see The Sound of Music with Connie Fisher at Woking theatre.  I have to admit it was a fantastic show and it also gave Nanny Fran a chance to see Éowyn who she hasn’t seen for quite a while.

Now I feel that I have waffled far too much, so please find some photos below to enjoy.  I will be uploading a large number to Flickr in the next few days so keep your eyes peeled for those.  I also aim to write a more detailed account of the holiday and post it as a permanent page under Éowyn’s own page in the right hand column, so keep an eye on that too.

Peace and Love

Baggie

Flaming June

So it is June.  Who organised that?  I’m sure someone is bypassing the odd day here and there while I am not looking.  They say as you get older the days seem to pass more quickly because the day:life ratio is widening; thus as a fraction of your life a day becomes gradually less significant and hence relatively shorter.  I think that there is probably a deeper metaphysical conclusion I can draw from that basic maths statement but I will leave that for another blog.  From a Geophysics point of view the days are getting longer since the Earth is slowing down as it loses its kinetic energy as a consequence of tidal acceleration.  Don’t say you never learn anything here.

As I mentioned in the last update, Nanny Fran has had a operation to repair a ruptured patella tendon.  All is seemingly going well and she is recovering at home.  Therefore last weekend we popped up to West Bromwich to visit Nanny Fran and hopefully give Auntie Liz a little bit of a break.  (Not sure how much of a break we gave Auntie Liz or whether we just added to her workload!)  Unfortunately Nanny Fran didn’t have a plastercast which we thought that she would so Éowyn was unable to graffiti it. 

Éowyn thoroughly enjoyed herself at Nanny Fran’s and entertained us constantly.  She is quite happy at Nanny Fran’s considering she doesn’t go that often, especially since Nanny Fran has a toy corner and she knows where it is.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very good and Éowyn could not enjoy herself in the garden, instead she had to entertain herself by running out of one door from the lounge, around the house and back through the other door to the lounge.  That is so much fun!  She also made us laugh when she decided that Nanny Fran seems to have so much fun with her crutches that she decided that she would have a go and took them for a stroll across the lounge.  She really can be a cheeky monkey!

Again it has been one of those weeks where my days off has coincided with Lucinda’s working week (I say week, if you can call 2 days a week! :-) ).  It is something we are both conscious off and are aware that we need to keep an eye on for our own relationship as much as for Éowyn.  Being primary child carer on those days does give me an appreciation of the work involved in looking after an active toddler, especially when every day off is taken up looking after her and you don’t get a chance to sit back and do something (or nothing) for yourself.  Don’t tell anyone, but I actually enjoy it immensely.  It is great playing on the floor, having tea parties, playing with Play-Doh, scribbling in colouring books and playing ball.  Not quite so happy when Daddy becomes a climbing frame or trampoline!  Nanny and Granddad have a perfectly good one of those in their garden.  I’m also getting into ‘In the Night Garden‘ and ‘Zingzillas‘, will have to see what Éowyn thinks of Camberwick Green, The Clangers and Chorlton and the Wheelies.

Lucinda’s pregnancy is still going well, although the new little bubba gave us a bit a fright the other day.  Lucinda had been busy all day and when she finally sat down she realised that she hadn’t felt the baby move or had recalled feeling the baby move and so we both became a little concerned, frightened even.  So before we trundled off the hospital to check everything out, Lucinda drank a cup of hot tea.  Nothing.  We became more concerned the final chance before heading to St Peters was to make Lucinda drink a bottle of ice cold water and lay down.  The little bubba didn’t like having a cold shower and gave its Mommy a kick.  To say we were relieved was an understatement.  It is so easy to forget that pregnancy is a precious gift and that it is important to take care of yourself and listen out for the bubba.

The keen-eyed among you will have noticed that there is a new link in the panel on the right hand side.  Paso Dance is a new venture by a friend of mine, Roberta.  She has taken the big leap into the wide world of business organising dance holidays.  There will be holidays for all skill levels, so if it is something that you do or something that you would like to do, click on the link and take a look.

Again I have out done myself with another 18 photos below.  Please enjoy and see you soon.

Peace and Love

Baggie

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