Thursday, 5 January 2017

Last Year Started With A Bump

I wasn’t going to write a review post for 2016: the list of posts I actually *need* to write is long enough to scare me, but then I started thinking about some of the amazing things which have happened this year…

January

2016 started with me heavily pregnant and pretty grumpy due to pelvic girdle pain. January was possibly our busiest month and I'm not sure I ever really caught up with the changes. We moved house when I was 38 weeks pregnant and I spent a lot of time cleaning and nesting. Little was finally born at the end of January nearly a week after her due date, if you want to know more you can read my birth story.

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February

We spent February finding our feet as a family of 4 and finishing off a few of the essentials around the house. Excitingly my beautiful new sofas arrived mid month so I could finally sit down in comfort while Little nursed for hours on end. Little was a low maintenance newborn, but it took my body a while to recover from birth and the month was nearly over before I was able to walk around without pain. 

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March

Lots of chocolate was consumer for Easter, but otherwise it was a quite month.

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April

The first trip away with both girls saw us staying in a hotel for a night to go to my nephew's birthday party. The driving was a bit stressful as Little cried a lot, but it was lovely to see my sisters. We slept well all in the same room (G, M, Little and I), but M didn’t get enough sleep after a late dinner. As G goes to sleep later than the rest of us he had to hide in the bathroom reading, not the most comfortable evening for him. The tiredness caught up with M the next day and her behaviour meant she was so badly behaved at breakfast she was carried back to the room crying and shouting. Fortunately she behaved better at the party and we had a lovely time at the farm.

A photo posted by Kate Kirk (@essexkate) on

May

I started Parenting Classes in May which I had signed up to over desperation of M’s behaviour when I was pregnant and after Little was born. While M's behaviour had improved before the classes started they were a great opportunity to talk about how to be a stronger family. Little was meant to go in the creche next door during the classes, but she spent at least half the time in the group with me as she missed me too much.
My Birthday was in May, like every year, and G bought me an amazing cake from my favourite Brownie shop (Konditor & Cook). I can’t remember the last time I had a proper birthday cake (that I didn’t make). I blogged in advance about what I wanted for my birthday, and although G didn’t read it he still managed to get half of them. Pretty impressive.

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June

Our second trip away took us to Legoland and a stay at the resort hotel. It was amazing. The weather was a bit grey with a few rain clouds which seemed to put people off coming. Brilliant for us as both days there were really quiet. We didn’t manage to get round the whole park, but we didn’t have to queue for longer than 20 minutes for anything. There were plenty of rides with no queue. Perfect for an impatient 4 year old.
Having thought the previous year that we only seem to get together as a wider family for funerals I decided I was going to have a party and I set the date for June. Fortunately the weather was good and it was lovely to host a party for most of my favourite people. It was also a chance for my out laws (G’s parents) to meet more of my family.
The most special day for G in June was his first father’s day. He received lots of presents from us, but I think he enjoyed the Baby Sensory session best. I hope he doesn’t expect the same level of effort next year!
Little came with me to BML16 the annual blogging conference by Britmums. Having a baby there meant it was hard to go to the sessions, but I did meet a lot of the bloggers I had recently been chatting to online and speak to some lovely brands.
M (and Little) had their first festival experience at the 3 Foot People Festival in Chelmsford. This was a lovely event because it wasn’t too busy and everything was perfectly focussed for young children (older children aren’t allowed in and you can’t go without children). She loved it and I started thinking of what other festivals we could try.

A photo posted by Kate Kirk (@essexkate) on

July

I spent July feeling festive thanks to a number of Christmas in July events. It was great to see what brands had planned for December and I really enjoyed speaking to the people behind the products.
Mid July we went to sunny France to stay at my mum’s house. The weather was lovely and M spent much of the time in the pool. This coincided with Little being nearly 6 months old so we started our Baby Led Weaning journey. She loved food straight away and it made meal times much more fun as we sat around together enjoying the food.

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August


We had another new addition to the family in August: our little kitten. I thought it would be good to get one before Little could chase it, but it turns out they are double trouble and gravitate towards each other. Most of the time it’s fine, but there have been a few scratches. It took us a couple of weeks to agree on a name, but we eventually went with M’s suggestion of Mittens.
This month saw M graduating from nursery and then leaving a couple of weeks later after 4 years there full time. She was excited about the idea of school, but even 4 months later she is still missing the environment and the staff.
The bank holiday weekend saw us going camping for the first time as a family. We went with 4 other families I met through NCT classes 5 years before. It was a very wet weekend in Bakewell, but the children had a brilliant time and didn’t seem to care about being covered in mud. The adults enjoyed themselves too, but before considering going again G and I would like to purchase a bigger tent and one which is more waterproof. We had the smallest tent on the whole campsite! Fortunately we could seek refuge in our friends' tents and the onsite pub.

A photo posted by Kate Kirk (@essexkate) on

September

September was a big month for M: she started school, was a bridesmaid and turned 5. It was me who was in tears as she walked into the classroom on the first day, but the the reality of school wasn’t quite as exciting as she thought and she was disappointed by all the tidying up and learning she had to do. 
The first weekend after starting school M was a bridesmaid when my beautiful cousin got married. The wedding was a lovely event with beautiful dresses, wellies, a picnic, hay bales and lots of bubbles.
M’s birthday party was 2 weeks after she started school so we invited people at random from her class, as well as friends from nursery and her NCT friends. The Alice in Wonderland themed party was a big hit with M loving her dress made by Blooming Tutus UK and all the attention focused on her by the Alice entertainer.

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October

We had a lovely family day at Paradise Park where G got to hang out with the lemurs (a Christmas present purchased from Buy A Gift). He had been looking forward to this for months and I think it lived up to his expectations.
In half term I took a couple of witches to Audley End Miniature Railway for their Halloween special. We have been there in the summer a few times, but this was the first of their special events we had attended. I was really impressed and M loved it.
Halloween itself saw M fall in love with ‘Trickle Sweets' when we decided to knock on a few doors last minute. M was scared to when the doors open and was often too shy to say "Trick or Treat", but she soon became a big fan of this easy way of getting sweets. Next year I’ll be better prepared and might even wear a witches hat. 

A photo posted by Kate Kirk (@essexkate) on

November

Was a quiet month with not much happening other than Mumsnet’s Blogfest which was my first day away from Little. It was an interesting day with some inspirational talks, but I was very glad to get home to my baby.

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December

Christmas Jumpers, Christmas parties and a Christmas concert seemed to take up most of December. The end of term is a busy time for school and baby groups a like. I enjoyed the excuse to eat treats and spend money without too much guilt. 
I went on a portrait and studio photography course with DSLR Photography Courses having previously attended their beginner and intermediates courses. This was a lovely opportunity to talk all things photographic and it reminded me just how much I love to take photographs.
After school broke up M and I went to watch Disney on Ice Presents Frozen which was a special treat from G. We both had a lovely time and it has reawakened M’s love of the film (a new Anna dress was subsequently requested with Christmas money).
I wasn’t looking forward to not having M Christmas Eve, but in the end I was up most of the night wrapping presents, putting decorations up and getting the house ready for our Christmas visitors (and I’m not talked about Father Christmas and the reindeer). Christmas Day was a lot of fun, but busy and loud. When we finally had the house back to ourselves on Boxing Day and Little had gone down for a nap I made G sit on the sofa with me in silence for 5 minutes. It was bliss.
New Years Eve saw me going to bed at the normal time as I was too tired to stay up. Due to Little waking up so frequently I was awake and feeding her to see in the New Year which saved me being woken up by the fireworks.

A photo posted by Kate Kirk (@essexkate) on

Looking back has helped me remember so much I had forgotten. It's also made me super excited to think of all the plans I have for 2017. I hope you had a brilliant year too and thank you for reading my blog.
Hannah Spannah
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3 comments

  1. Happy new year! What a lovely year you had, I'm sure 2017 will be very exciting with all the changes little will go through x #weekendblogshare

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  2. What a great year and beautiful pictures. Moving at that stage of pregnancy must have been hard but it must have all worked out in the end as you had a great year. Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare

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