I love having a good ol’ reflect on things. What better time to do this than at the close of a year? So, what has happened over the past twelve months…

January:

I celebrated my 26th birthday. We invited friends over and Sam was a star and cooked an amazing curry. Arlo was three months old and I remember being stuck upstairs trying to get him to sleep when everyone arrived, silently pleading that it wouldn’t take more than an hour and that once he was down he would stay down.

January also saw the start of my elimination diet to help Arlo’s eczema and reflux problems.

February and March:

To be honest, I can’t even remember if anything significant happened in these two months, because I wasn’t blogging then. This is why I love writing my blog.

I do remember these two months being very hard. Arlo’s sleep regressed a lot. I got next to no sleep at night and had to walk Arlo in the pram four times a day as it was the only way he would maybe… sometimes fall asleep. Life revolved around these walks for a while.

April:


April was the month that I started this blog. The sun was starting to shine after a long winter that seemed all a blur and I realised how easy it is to forget the little things unless you record them. Plus, I wanted a project, something that was for me.

April also saw Arlo’s half birthday and the start of weaning, and our first family trip to Brighton – where Sam and I met and went to Uni.

May:

May saw the first (and to this date the only) time Sam and I both went out for an evening. We saw Sufjan Stevens play at Royal Festival Hall. Sam and I used to go to a lot of gigs in the days before Arlo, at least two a month (we are spoilt for choice living in London), so it was nice to be able to relive a bit of the old lifestyle.

There were also sad times in May as my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and normal family life fell apart for a bit.

Sam celebrated his 25th birthday and we took Arlo to a restaurant for the first time for Sam’s birthday meal.

June:

June was Sam’s first father’s day, and a twat in a van rear ended me (for which I am still waiting for my insurance claim to come through so I can make repairs to my car).

July:

In July, after over six months, I was able to introduce small amounts of dairy back into my diet. YES!! July also marks the point when Arlo’s eczema started to improve and we waved a cheerful goodbye to those red raw cheeks.

Arlo scared the life out of me when he got properly ill for the first time and I had to call an ambulance when he stopped breathing properly.

We went on our first holiday with Arlo (and Sam’s parents and siblings) to France.

August:

In August I reached the end of my tether with regard to my obsession over self settling and getting more sleep. We started controlled crying with Arlo, then I did a complete 180 and realised it was totally the wrong approach for him.

September:

In September, Arlo and I went to Cyprus with my family for a wedding whilst Sam stayed at home to work.

October:

In October my baby turned one and had a big birthday/naming day celebration.

After months of agonising about what to do, I quit my job in search of something that strikes the right work/childcare balance. I am still looking.

November:

In November Arlo and I were both ill loads and it was a bit of a depressing month. But this is also the month that Arlo said his first words. We were able to sort out some necessary building repairs to our house, and after 15 months could finally paint over the plaster in our main reception/dining room.

December:

In December, Arlo slept through the night for the first time on his own, without sleep training. Sam had a week off work before Christmas so we had lots of time together. Christmas came and went, and that brings us to now.

What’s in store for 2012?
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, because I never stick to them. But our family does have some goals that we would really like to achieve in the next year.

For the house:

Clean up and turf the  garden so Arlo can use it this summer.

Get the squirrels out of our loft so we can finally store things in there.

Financial:

Achieve better stability somehow.

Pay off our credit card debts.

Personal:

Focus on doing more things for myself separate from being a mum. (Hah, easier said than done when you have children and ZERO time to spare).

Be happier in myself.

Pretty sure the first goal is the key to the second, if I’m honest I know I’m still holding onto some unhealthy bitterness about my life being taken out of my control with an unplanned pregnancy. (This is not in any way a comment on Arlo, I love him and am extremely proud to be his mum).

Life IS different now, but it’s been a great year. The biggest pleasure has been to see all the changes in Arlo’s development and to have had the privilege of spending each and every day with him. To steal Sam’s words from Arlo’s birthday card, ‘Thank you for the best year ever’.

Here’s a Tweet Cloud of my twenty words I used most in 2011, I’m not surprised by any of these!

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