What 2011 Has Meant To Me...
On Saturday people all over the UK and the rest of the world will be saying goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. A brand new year, filled with anticipation and excitement- I for one, can't wait to see what 2012 will bring. On Saturday night rather than going out as in years gone by, I will be staying in with my little family. We will put Mads to bed and then probably cook a nice meal and have some bubbly and see 2011 out in more of a low key fashion. I saw 2010 in while I was on honeymoon in Mexico and I saw 2011 in at my Mums house with an eight day old baby- actually I didn't I was asleep and missed the countdown! But however we celebrate it, I always like to look back and think of the year that has passed and what it meant to me.
I saw 2011 in as a Mum to a brand new newborn. In fact Mads was due on the 1.1.11 but arrived on Christmas Eve. On 31st December 2010, Mr E was designated taxi driver for my family as we were still staying there after the birth of Mads. We had a quiet New Year, just me and Mr E at my Mums and went home to our house the next day to start our new life together as a family of three.
Having her first bath the day we brought her home.
2011 didn't start in the best way- on the 2nd January we had a terrifying scare with Mads when we went to wake her from her nap to give her some milk. She just wouldn't wake up, and we had to rush her to hospital. I have no idea why at the time we didn't call an ambulance but I think we just panicked- I will never forget sitting in the back of the car and shaking her to wake her up but with no response. I handed her over to a doctor and she was unresponsive all the way down the corridor of A and E- seeing my tiny baby lying on a bed with 10 doctors and nurses around her is something that will stay with me forever but thankfully they roused her. We stayed on the childrens ward for a couple of days and they ran loads of tests but everything came back clear. Since then we have never had any other problems and she has been the picture of health, bar the usual bugs that all babies pick up. However it certainly affected me as a parent and I think it tarred the first couple of months of her life as I was so paranoid about her being asleep.
Even through that initial tough period, I settled into my role as a Mum. I adored everything about those early days and I loved bundling her up in her pram and taking for a walk in those cold winter months. I felt like I was the only woman in the world who had ever had the right to push a pram- I used to walk along with my chest puffed out with pride when someone would peer in and tell me she was beautiful. I loved all her first milestones- her first smile, her first giggle, the first time she tasted something other than milk, and her first crawl. I enjoyed everything about being her Mummy.
March was an incredibly important month for me. On the 7th I celebrated my first birthday as a Mummy- it was a low key affair, during the day me and my Mum took Mads to the hospital for a hip ultrasound (she suffers from mild hip dysplasia) and in the evening I went over to my Mums and shared Dominoes pizza with my family. Still it was a poignant day celebrating my first one as a Mum- our birthdays will now pale in comparision to hers but I wouldn't want it any other way.
On the 28th March I was sitting at my computer and I decided to create a blog. I have no idea what made me start doing it, I didn't really read any religiously but start one I did and 'Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three' was born. I had no idea what I was doing but after a bit of research I started up a twitter account. If I had known then what I knew now I would have created a blog with a slightly shorter name but to be honest I didn't think I would stick at it as I am most certainly not known for my 'staying power.' My first post was hardly worthy of a literary prize but I soon got bitten by the blogging bug and started to find my feet a little more. In May I decided to take the plunge to a self hosted page and I loved designing and laying out my new blog.
Blogging really has changed my life, it may sound cheesy to say but it has. Not only am I documenting the life of my daughter which I love doing, I have also got so much else from it too. I love writing and taking photos, and blogging has definitely helped relight an interest in them. I have been to some wonderful blogging events, from my very first Cybermummy back in June, to the most recent the Tots 100 Christmas Party. I have met some lovely people, some who I now class as 'real life' friends as well. I have got to work with some fantastic companies and brands and review some great items. I have even managed to get some freelance work from blogging as well, including my recent trip to Brussels with Coca Cola and have helped my hubby set up a business too. I am still so new to the blogging world but can't wait to see what 2012 will bring.
A few of us at Cybermummy back in June
2011 was the first year I hadn't been abroad on holiday since I was young- travelling is one of my passions so it felt very strange not to be going away but we enjoyed exploring all that the UK had to offer going on long weekends, and visiting friends, and generally enjoying time together as a family.
Here we are on a long weekend to Bournemouth in September
2011 has brought laughs, tears, triumphs, new skills, mistakes but above all a hell of a lot of happiness. I fell unconditionally in love with my little girl, and learnt what it was like to know that you would literally die for another person. I have made new friends, both through blogging and through having Mads, and also renewed old friendships. Being a Mum has made me realise how important friendships are, and I now make sure I make a lot more effort with the wonderful ones I do have, even though they may live away and be at a completely different stage in life to me. I have made friendships that I know will last a lifetime, and that is a joy to experience.
We have had some tough times financially, with Mr E's job not being too stable. It still isn't and money is tight for the moment as our mortgage is so high but luckily I have had some freelance work to help us out. Still I hate living each month not knowing and money has been a big worry for us. At times it has pushed us both close to the edge but the love we have for each other and for Mads has seen us through. Yes, it can be hard sometimes but we look at our daughter and realise how lucky we are to have her, and no money in the world would make us change that. Parenting and sheer exhaustion have tested our relationship at times but I look at my husband and know that he is one in a million and how much he loves us. I love him more than I could ever express.
This year really has been incredible and one of the very best so far.
So what on earth do I want 2012 to bring? Above all, all I want is health and happiness for my little family and for my family around me. As long as I have that I have everything I could ever want.
But if you were to ask me what else I would say...
I want 2012 to be the year that we get ourselves sorted financially. I want Mr E to get a job he deserves and that will fulfill him, like he so desperately wants. He loves his current job but unfortunately he has had to take a pay cut. My husband is a talented and a incredibly creative designer and I hope that someone sees that in him. I would love to not have to worry about money as much as we do.
I want 2012 to be the year that I take on new challenges and succeed at them. I want my blog to continue to grow and for my writing style to continue to develop. I would love to get some more freelance work as well. I have already set myself the resolution of learning to cook properly and I hope that I stick to it- I want to cook my hubby some fabulous meals and make Mads some nutritious and healthy dishes to help her grow big and strong. I would like to exercise more and get rid of the excess weight that I have on my tummy since having Mads but this is a challenge in itself considering I hate doing anything that resembles working out.
I want 2012 to be the year of fun. I have to work two and a half days but on the rest of my time off I want to make sure that Mads and I have a huge amount of fun. I can't wait to see how she will grow and develop in 2012. 2012 will be the year she learns to walk and talk, and I want to be with her every step of the way. I want to relish and enjoy every single moment with my little family. And who knows maybe towards the end of the year we could start 'practicing' for another little addition?
Thanks and goodbye 2011, its been fun, its been emotional, its been tiring, its been testing, but above all its been bloody fantastic.
All I can say now is 2012- Bring it On!