Daddy’s 40th

And so the Bagnall family celebrates its second momentous event of the month, indeed the week: my 40th birthday.  On the vernal equinox 1973, the joyous strains of Slade were sitting at the top of the UK single charts and I made my appearance in this world.  There have been plenty of ups and downs over the past four decades and anyone that has lived this long will have their own stories and this website is mine.

The day before my birthday we spent a quietish day mostly at home.  We ventured as far as the other side of the village to Nanny and Granddad’s for tea and buns to allow Nanny an Ezra cuddle while I gave Granddad his latest computer lesson on his laptop.  Then in the evening Ezra finally met his last Uncle and Auntie (Michael and Cristina) who had been on a snowboarding holiday when he was born.  He is well and truly a fully paid up member of the Cathrall-Bagnall clan.

The next day was my birthday.  So this is fortieth birthday I have celebrated, some have involved beer, some have involved tears, most have involved cake this is the first that has involved a week old baby.  Quite often one has a long list of wants for their birthday, this birthday was slightly different all I really really wanted was a good night’s sleep.  Thankfully Ezra is a very contented baby, he has not been too much trouble so far (I hope that hasn’t put the collybosh on that).  He sleeps, he eats, he poops and he only cries when he is hungry.  He is a very different newborn to both Éowyn and Amélie, in a good way.

So how did I celebrate this momentous occasion?  After a relevantly good night’s sleep (thank you Ezra) and after the girls gave me my card and presents I took Éowyn to school and the little egret that we first spotted the day of Ezra’s birth saw us off.  While I was taking Éowyn to school Lucinda cooked me a full English breakfast while I opened my cards and presents.  The pick of my presents was from my family and it is a super car driving experience at Chobham test track.  To be booked for some time this years I get to tear round a race track in one of six cars that I can only ever dream of owning.  I think I know which one I hope to drive but after the success of the naming poll I may just open it up to my readers to see which one you guys would chose.

Then the excitement of my birthday moved up a notch as we left Amélie at Nanny and Granddad’s while the three of us (Lucinda, Ezra and I) headed for lunch in Windsor after buying a new vacuum cleaner (not a hoover, as some may call it, a Dyson to be accurate, a DC34 Animal to be precise).  We know how to live.

The evening saw us at Nanny and Granddad’s for dinner, we were joined by Uncle Michael and Auntie Cristina and Lauren.  Unfortunately the evening was cut a little short as Amélie wasn’t feeling very well.  Indeed by the time we got her home she was running a temperature of 39.4ºC – scarily approaching the 40ºC when you should be heading to hospital.  We put her to bed and dosed her up with Calpol and monitored her temperature every hour.  The Calpol did its job.  She was still hot but at least her temperature was coming down.

Ezra slept well the night of my birthday again, going 5 hours between feeds, unfortunately Amélie did not.  She was still feeling the effects of her illness.  This could be a precursor of our future lives.  Even if the youngest member of our family sleeps there are still two older children that may not.

Thursday seemed to disappear.  Again Éowyn went to school while we took Amélie to sing-song time at Staines library.  She still wasn’t fully herself but she really enjoys the sing song time and so we thought it was important to take her.  She seemed to perk up after that but the illness had one final twist before bedtime.  Without going into all the gory details part of me was quite glad that she was wearing tights for it was contained.  However part of me wished she hadn’t been wearing tights for it was contained.  I cleaned her up and a quick bath followed by Calpol and she is back in bed.  Hopefully she has now turned the corner and hasn’t passed it on to any of us, especially Ezra who she delights in holding and kissing.

Although Thursday did seem to vanish quickly we did manage to make a number of important appointments including organising a time for the Health Visitor to check in and at the local registry office so that we can officially make Ezra a member of our country.

So I hope I haven’t bored you, with a week old baby it was never going to be the most adventurous of birthdays but nevertheless I have probably never been more happy.  Before I leave you to view the photos here is one anecdote that might raise a smile.  On my birthday morning I said to Amélie, ‘Who’s Daddy’s gorgeous girl?

Amélie folded her arms stamped her feet and replied, ‘I am NOT a gorgeous girl! I’m a cheeky monkey!‘  This may change when she is a little older.

Peace and love


A good night’s sleep

It has been a couple of days so I feel that I owe you a quick update and some more photos (OK it’s just the photos that you are here for isn’t it?).  The last time you heard from me was Saturday night so what has happened over the last couple of days?

It is not very often that one of the most exciting things that happens to this family is sleep but that is exactly what happened on Saturday night.  Ezra is less than a week old so we are fully prepared for sleep depravation however Ezra threw us a curved ball by sleeping for just over 5 hours on his fourth night in the big wide world.  Yes, unlike his sisters Ezra simply eats and sleeps (and poops) at the moment.  He seems very contented and only cries when it is food time.  Now maybe this is due to the fact that we are more confident parents and he senses this; maybe it is because he is a boy or maybe it is just him.

So was this just a one-off? Perhaps a little too early to tell yet and although he didn’t last quite as long last night again he woke when he was hungry, fed, then went back to sleep.  We can not ask for any more from him.

So Sunday morning we awoke feeling more human and somewhat surprised and ready to receive visitors.  If Saturday was the turn of the Bagnall side then Sunday it was the ‘Badger’ side’s turn to meet the newest member of the family.  Lucinda’s brother Steve and his family popped round early afternoon.  This meant that Ezra had met (and had a cuddle from) all of his first cousins.  This included Finley his only male cousin and the original owner of some of his clothes.

Then Lucinda’s mum’s sisters, Aunties Sally and Diana came round with Adam and Lucy and John.  Again Ezra was very well behaved although his sisters were a little over-excited.  It must be very difficult for them because they are no longer the centre of attention when people come round.  We are trying to involve them in everything but obviously Ezra is the draw and they know that.

Both Éowyn and Amélie have been brilliant with him though.  They both fight over wanting to hold him and sit with a cushion on their lap and have quickly learnt to support his head.  Amélie especially will sit for an extended period holding her little brother, stroking his head and kissing him.  She is very cute, if at times a little heavy handed but that is to be expected and we obviously supervise them when they have him.

We have spent a very quiet Monday at home getting used to being a family.  The rain, hail and thunderstorms were a deterrent for even making it up the road to Nanny and Granddad’s.  Our family enclave was only invaded once by the 5 day check up by the local midwives.  They examined Ezra and took blood via the blood spot (heel prick) test.  This upset Éowyn thinking that these strange people who had come into our house were hurting her little brother.  Fortunately although it looked painful he was feeding and must have had his mind on better things because he didn’t even flinch.

They checked Lucinda and made sure that all was well with her and then finally weighed Ezra.  He weighed in at a surprising 3.92kgs (8lbs 10oz); he had only lost 92 grams.  This is excellent, it means that he is feeding well and we will be more content to let him sleep rather than fretting that he has slept for 5 hours!  A new born baby can lose up to 10% of their birth weight before the medical profession get too worried.  At this rate Ezra will probably surpass his birth weight on my birthday and definitely by his next weigh-in on Saturday.

So as I sit here with Ezra sleeping on my chest I will leave you to enjoy the latest crop of photos.

Love and Peace


Ezra John Bagnall

The metaphorical white smoke billows out of the non-existent chimneys of Bagnall Manor and the world breathes a sigh of relief, at last we have finally agreed on a name for our son: Ezra John Bagnall.  We now have to get used to calling him it rather than boy or Bilbo (indeed I believe that this will be his nickname whether he wants it or not).  It was very interesting to see the voting patterns on this website and one my Facebook page and thank you all for your input and don’t feel too bad if we didn’t pick for your personal favourite.  Interestingly the voting patterns on Facebook were slightly different to those on the website with Jacob and Noah neck and neck on Facebook with Ezra sneaking ahead of Noah by one vote on the website.  It was never going to be a democratic vote but it was an interesting exercise to see garner thoughts from friends and family.  Despite the Facebook voting pattern the overwhelming family vote was for Ezra John; grandparents, aunties and cousins all voted Ezra and so if we include family weighting then Ezra won hands down.

So why Ezra John?  Simply, we decided to name our first son after his grandfathers.  Lucinda’s father’s name is John and my father’s name was Victor (I say was as he passed away in 1987).  So why Ezra?  Ezra Bagnall was a locally famous pianist and organist in West Bromwich when my dad was growing up and for some reason, lost in the mists of time, it became his nickname.  Some people only knew him as Ezra in the same way as some people only know me by my nickname Baggie.  Now since our other two children have unusual names, indeed Éowyn is extremely unusual, it would therefore be a little strange and certainly be out of character for us to have christened our son John.  In addition Ezra John seemed to flow better than John Ezra and Ezra seemed to fit with his sisters’ names: Éowyn and Amélie (Éowyn, Amélie and Ezra does flow doesn’t it?).  Also, his middle name has four letters to fit in with his sisters’ middle names (Vera and Iris) however his name doesn’t contain an acute accent but you can’t have everything.

So did you miss me yesterday?  I spoilt you on Thursday with two posts but then I was absent yesterday.  Part of the reason was the fact that we had not fully decided on his name and part of the reason was the fact that we managed to have a quiet day with no visitors and apart from taking Éowyn to school and then filling up on groceries on the return journey we did not leave the house. It was quite nice taking Éowyn to school and then picking her up at the end of the day.  It is also part of my effort to try and keep the girls foremost in my attention so that they do not feel that Ezra is pushing them out.  Obviously this is more difficult for Lucinda as she is feeding Ezra and therefore has to pay him a lot of attention so I feel that the onus is on me to lavish attention on the girls.  So when I picked Éowyn up from school I took her to the local supermarket to stock up for the week.

Éowyn doesn’t usually like going to the supermarket but I managed to convince her with a combination of turning it into an adventure and encouraging her by making it seem that I needed her help and bribing her with the promise of a magazine.  As we entered the supermarket Éowyn saw the display of cut flowers and said ‘Can we buy Mommy some flowers?‘  How could I refuse?

So she chose a bunch and into the trolley they went.  I then thought I would ask her what she felt about her new brother? ‘Is it a little weird and strange to have a baby brother?‘  I asked.

No Daddy,‘ she replied, ‘but what is weird,‘ she continued, ‘Is that Mommy feeds him with her boobies.‘  I tried to explain that is what boobies are for but she wasn’t having that, so we left it there.

Saturday saw the first of the visitors.  Lauren (voted for Ezra) and Maddie (didn’t vote) , his cousins, were the first of the visitors.  Maddie hogged the cuddles for longer than Lauren but I am sure that it will even itself out over time.  Then Nanny Fran (voted for Ezra), Auntie Mary (voted for Ezra) and Auntie Liz (voted for Ezra) came down laden with presents.  There were presents for Ezra, for Éowyn, for Amélie and some for me (it is my birthday – my 40th birthday – on Wednesday).  The girls were very excited to see their aunties and even more excited with their presents.

So Ezra is now part of the family proper.  He has a name and is beginning to meet his close relatives (and more tomorrow hopefully).  He is keeping his mommy and daddy up at night but sleeps (like a baby) during the day and poor Lucinda is only getting snatches of sleep between feeds – for he is feeding every 3 hours.  She is currently getting one of those snatches of sleep while I look after my son so I will leave you there and let you enjoy the photos.

Peace and Love