That was the year that was 2015 – a summary

2015 has been another challenging year, but more for happy reasons that sad, especially when compared against last year. Whilst the losses of 2014 are still very much felt, the arrival of H at the start of the year brought a bit of sunshine back in to life again. It’s pushed me to many extremes but it’s ultimately been a wonderful year so here is the summary!

‘Of the year’ awards

Song of the year: I actually have two:

  • Uptown Funk‘ by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. This was number 1 in the UK charts for several weeks before H was born and I was really hoping it would keep holding out until she arrived so the song when she was born was a good one. We got lucky!

  • ‘Sugar’ by Maroon 5. This is H and my song. When she was a few months old we’d often watch the music channel on TV and I really liked the video for this song. We then got the album. She heard the song so often that she quickly learnt to recognise it and would look towards the speakers and smile. Even today she does it and we’ll have a little dance around!

Album of the year: Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor‘ by Caro Emerald. We bought this album less than a week before H was born. It brings back so many memories – of those last few days of pregnancy, of those early days not knowing what we were doing and of Sunday mornings throughout the year where we’ve all been chilling out listening to tunes. After almost a year, I have yet to tire of this album!

Film of the year: Okay I’m cheating a bit and have two again – one from the cinema and one on DVD:

  • Spectre (James Bond). Not only was it a great film but it was also the first film I saw at the cinema since having H. I went with an NCT friend who also hadn’t been to the cinema for over 9 months and we were thoroughly engrossed the entire time.
  • Pitch Perfect: I recorded this on TV back in the summer because I was intrigued. I thought I’d find it cheesy. I’m actually not even embarrassed to say I loved it. I have watched it far too many times, not least because Mini H likes the songs too!

January

January was a strange month. I officially started my Maternity Leave and wasn’t really sure what to do with myself. I got bigger and bigger. I watched all my NCT friends have their babies and got frustrated that mini Watling wasn’t with us!

39 wks 0 days 1
With still over a week to go!

January personal blog posts of the month:

The calm before the storm

February

By the start of February mini Watling, H, had arrived and life had completely changed. We spent most of the month finding our feet and trying to get used to the new addition to our family. It was tough, really very tough. The lack of sleep hit us hard and learning to breastfeed was very difficult. But by the end of the month we had made some progress.

February walk
All togged-up for a chilly (short and slow) walk!

February personal blog posts of the month:

Then there were three…
Who needs sleep anyway?

March

In March I slowly started exercising again. I had been really strict with myself to not do any exercise until we’d had our ‘six week check’ with the doctor. After that though it was quite honestly starting completely from scratch. It was a bit of a shock to be honest; My fitness had dropped in the past but never to this extreme. Not only that but I was trying to get a bit of fitness back whilst looking after a young baby.

March personal blog posts of the month:

The power of touch
You may think I’m crazy, but I kind of miss work…
If it ain’t broke then really don’t try and fix it. Really!
Immunisations – not much fun but really important!

April

The weather started to pick-up so we started to spend some time in the garden. I would try and do a bit of garden maintenance whilst young H would either watch the sky or, more usually, nod off!

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I also kept making progress with Project Fitness, including doing a lot of walking (compared to the tiny distances I could manage after H was born!) and starting Buggycise.

Fitbit Steps

That aside, we would still spend a lot of time sitting around at home and sleeping. It was still very typical at this stage for H to have her late afternoon nap on her Mummy bed. If I was lucky / thinking straight, I would remember to get drinks, snacks and the TV remote close by so I wasn’t pinned to the sofa slowly dehydrating!

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We did manage to get away for our first family function – our friends got married and we all went along. Although it made me realise why families tend to go on holiday to cottages and apartments rather than hotels

April personal blog posts of the month:

Why I won’t put pictures of my daughter on social media
The necessary lowering of standards

May

H was over three months old in May and it felt like we were settling in to a bit of a routine. I was feeling less knackered all the time so started trying to get a few bits done when time allowed. She also moved from her crib to her cot which was a big milestone! I found it a bit sad until I got my bedside cabinet back.

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I kept working on my fitness but had to abandon Buggycise after only a few short weeks because it didn’t mesh at all with the routine I was trying to get H in to. So I started doing more exercise at home in the form of Davina exercise DVDs.

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The weather was also getting better and better so on afternoons where we didn’t go walking, we’d spend time in the garden.

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We also started getting out and about socialising at Baby Sensory and swimming. It was nice to get out with other mums and babies, although she was so little that H was difficult to get a reaction out of, even though she was taking it all in!

Swimming

May personal blog posts of the month:

The day everything changed
Three months with a new baby: 8 things I couldn’t have lived without
Three months with a new baby: the 9th thing I couldn’t have lived without

June

We went on our first family holiday in June and it was an interesting experience. The car was absolutely rammed with stuff for such a tiny person. We went to some lodges in Hampshire which are owned by my company. This was the first time H had slept in her travel cot, rather than her crib, and the wooden lodges got very warm by day but very chilly by night, making it very difficult to get our temperatures right. But it was nice to get away and to know that we could do it!

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H and I at Salisbury Cathedral

We decided to put our house on the market again too. Our original plan had been to try in 2016 but since we’d found our feet with the whole parenting game we decided to give it another go before H became mobile and too aware of her surroundings.

It was also one year since we lost Mum which was hard for us all. We were all very mindful of the date, but we all tried to keep the day as normal as possible and to just think of happy memories.

June personal blog posts of the month:

Things I wish I’d known

July

The summer was in full swing by July which meant we could go for lots of nice walks. Although sometimes it was just too hot, which affected both our sleep and my training. But one noteworthy point – I got back on my erg!

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We started weaning H, which was brilliant fun but hard work!

Weaning

We also hit the six month age marker so I paused to reflect on the things that had helped me get through the last three months:

Three to six months with a baby 8 things I couldnt have lived without

Sam was supposed to do a velodrome experience at the Olympic Velodrome that H and I had bought him for his birthday. But he had a fall on his bike whilst cycling home the night before so I had to book him in for another session in August.

July personal blog posts of the month:

I really should…
Sleep wars
Bike Helmets – Shouldn’t parents practice what they preach?
Three to six months with a baby: 8 things I couldn’t have lived without

August

August was another great month for weather so we went walking and in the garden. At the weekend, we’d often spend the time after H’s dinner but before bed laying out in the garden enjoying the sky. The house moving process also ticked along, although with some frustrations with mortgage approvals due to the fact I was on Maternity Leave. *sigh*.

We went on our first family excursion to London too so that Sam could finally do his Olympic velodrome experience. Mini H and I went for a walk round the Olympic Park whilst he was at his briefing and then we enjoyed watching Sam cycling on the Olympic track.

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At the Olympic Stadium

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At the Olympic Swim Centre

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Sam riding like a pro!

The other note-worthy point is as the month drew to a close, we exchanged on the sale of our house / purchase of our new house. Whoop!

August personal blog posts of the month:

6 ways to look after yourself when you have a baby6 ways to keep on top of things

September

September was dominated by one thing only – we moved house! It was quite sad knowing we’d be leaving our house of 8 years and H’s first home. But the movers came in the day before we completed to pack and pre-load. After our house had been cleared down to the bare bones, our last night there didn’t feel like it was in our house. It helped us get some distance and made the final goodbye less difficult than I thought it would be.

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September personal blog posts of the month:

Top tips for moving house with a baby

October

By October it already felt like we were well settled in our new house. The house is in a state that means we can just do work on it overtime. But I did get H’s room sorted straight away because it was exciting that she had a room that was properly hers.

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I also did a Falconry experience one Saturday which was a birthday present from the Watling Parents. It was a fantastic experience and you can read about it here.

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H and I also took a trip in to London to visit some of my work mates at my office. We successfully managed to navigate the train, tube and central London on our own, but I’m not sure the tube was well received. In H’s defence, the Victoria line seemed excessively busy for 11:30am.

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Someone napping outside the British Museum on the walk back to Kings Cross!

We also got our new conservatory sorted sufficiently to be able to set up our ‘home gym’. My fitness and training had hit a brick wall so I had good intentions to really try and get back on top of it again.

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October personal blog posts of the month:

Thoughts on Maternity Leave
Trying not to be a goal driven parent
Traditional vs. Baby-Led weaning: my thoughts

November

We finally got a spare bed for the spare room, thus enabling the ability for Grandparents to babysit when we needed!

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The weather started to get chillier and it really felt like the year was starting to come towards it’s end, even though there were still two months to go.

I discovered that H’s favourite Lamby toy had been discontinued by Jelly Cat. This threw me in to immediate panic because Lamby must be there for naps and bedtime and we only had two which didn’t really give a buffer when one would have to go to nursery. So after some frantic online searching I managed to snap up 3 extra ones to go with the 2 we already had. Now we have sufficient in circulation to hopefully cover in any losses or incidents.

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Our range cooker also went pop, so we were forced to buy the new one we had been intending to get at some point. the one we have now is awesome!

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Sam and I also celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Time really does go by fast!

November personal blog posts of the month:

9 things to do on Maternity Leave
Taking the time for some Slow Parenting

December

December was a month of mixed emotions, not least because H started her nursery settle sessions. She got on well with her first two 2 hour sessions but the following weeks planne dhalf days were disrupted when she got a cold and a horrible stomach bug. It threw her out of sorts for the entire week and she was the most upset I have seen her in a very long time. Once she was better though, things started to pick-up.

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Nursery Lamby getting ready for the off!

After months of pain waiting for H to start visibly teething, the bottom two teeth finally cut through! Hurrah! She also became ever more mobile with her ‘crawling’ getting faster and really finding her feet with walking. She also, even more excitingly, signed for the first time!

We then reached H’s first Christmas. I find the whole Christmas period quite stressful because of the logistics of visiting everyone or the effort of hosting everyone. We wanted H to be at home this year (plus it’s easier than travelling up and down the country) so we hosted, but whilst it was tiring we had some really enjoyable days with both sides of the family. H got some great new toys as presents, but everyone was very restrained so we haven’t ended up with loads either. Some things have also been snuck in to the cupboard too because they’re a bit too advanced for her right now!

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So now we are just enjoying the rest of our Christmas break as a family as I try to not think too much about going back to work in the New Year. I really cannot believe it’s almost time to go back. But whilst this year has been one of the most exhausting and demanding years of my life, it has also been one of the most wonderful and rewarding. I can’t wait for 2016 and, hopefully, all the exciting things in store!

December personal blog posts of the month:

Is there anything funnier than a laughing baby?!
8 gadgets that are helpful when you have a baby

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

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About Me

About Me

Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (4 & 1). I'm a Gardener, am houseplant obsessed and addicted to tea. By day I work in tech and also look after my littles. I'm trying to get our family to live a more sustainable life. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Twitter so you never miss a post. Hope you enjoy reading!

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