It’s been a really long time since a family update, my apologies. In our last update, I told you all about how we had started to wean Monkey onto solids, I talked about Bear’s 2nd birthday, our garden renovations, my first blogging conference and then shared some of our everyday moments with you. Well, since then life has a bit of a whirlwind and in all honesty we are only just now finding our feet.
In the summer, we celebrated Monkey’s Christening. It was such a special day introducing Monkey to the church and we celebrated the occasion with family and friends at our home. We kept it all very low key and hosted the after gathering at our house. We borrowed enough gazebos from our friends to line our garden, you can never be too careful with northern weather after all. Thankfully the weather held out and we got to enjoy a few glasses of prosecco while catching up with some friends we haven’t seen for a while, including two of my oldest friends from my hometown.
In October, we celebrated Monkey’s 1st birthday. The first year with the littlest one was a tough year, he suffered with colic, reflux, barely slept and how we made it through, I’ll never know. Bear only started sleeping through the night after Monkey arrived, so it wasn’t until Monkey first slept through the night around his 1st birthday that Mr. C and I got our first decent nights’ kip in over 2 years. I can’t explain how glorious it was to finally sleep, to wake up feeling less tired than when we went to sleep and generally feel more like a human being and less like the walking dead!
We celebrated Monkey’s birthday with a sensory birthday party. I had been taking him to baby sensory for a few months and it was one of my favourite things to do. It was lovely to celebrate such a special day with so many of our friends.
Last summer we finally got around to getting our family photos done, we wanted some very natural shots in an outdoor setting and when I stumbled across Becca from Little Wonderland Photography, I knew she was our photographer. Becca just kept in the background until the boys were more comfortable around her and she worked so well with them, even when they didn’t want to have their photo taken. The photos we got back were just perfect and we absolutely adore them.
At the end of last year, I decided to take an evening class in counselling at a local university. I spent a lot of last year contemplating what it was I wanted to do in terms of a career and kept coming back to the idea of counselling. After suffering with post – natal depression and anxiety, I myself went to see a counsellor and it completely changed my life (I’ve posted about that here). Studying again was amazing, I had forgotten how rewarding it was to finish an essay and know that I had put my all into it. While I was studying Mr. C was working most evenings and weekends, so it was really hard to work the course around family life, but I did it and now it is just a matter of waiting on my grade. Passing the evening course is one of the entry requirements for the masters degree and I only have a couple of weeks left until the results are released, so all my fingers and toes are crossed for a good grade.
During 2016, I launched a series on the blog called ‘For the Love of Books’ which aims to encourage more parents and guardians to read stories with their little ones. As part of the series I began interviewing well known children’s authors, who have actually inspired me to write my own children’s book, which focuses on the message that all that matters is what’s within. It’s a working progress and I’m currently making some revisions, but the feedback I’ve had from it so far has been hugely positive, which is really encouraging.
Bear has had a really interesting few months, his development has come on in leaps and bounds. He now talks for England, wants to know everything and has started developing his own little friendships, which is just adorable. He still loves doing anything arty, so we spend hours every day drawing, colouring and painting. He is completely obsessed with animals at the moment, so we now watch documentaries and take at least one trip a week to the zoo, aquarium or farm.
Monkey has also had an interesting few months, he is at that age where he seems to be doing something new every day. He started walking at 10 months and now at 15 months runs everywhere. Like Bear, Monkey is also very arty and loves drawing, he drew this really fab picture on my brand new bedside table today, which was nice. He is also very musical, he loves playing the musical instruments we have in the playroom, dances to music as soon as we turn it on and sings away to himself, which is lovely to watch. Monkey now also has tantrums, like Bear they have started early and so he has become acquainted with ‘The Step’. He isn’t a fan. Monkey also started nursery recently, which he loves. He is such a confident and outgoing character, I think he likes having a new environment to explore and new people to talk to.
Now that Monkey is mobile and can interact, the boys are thick as thieves. After a morning at nursery, you would think they had been apart for months. They can sit and play together nicely now, which is nice but they have also started to fight over toys, which isn’t so nice. Even if we have two of the same toy, they still fight over the same one.
Recently I have been seeing a physiotherapist and chiropractor about the pain in my pelvis, that developed when I was pregnant with Monkey. I was so happy finally being listened to and was no longer being told it was ‘just pregnancy or hormonal changes’. It turned out that actually I had some severe muscle damage from my labour with Bear. Thankfully, it could be corrected and so after a lot of work I am now able to start exercising again and am now getting back into shape. Since joining the gym and making slight alterations to our diet, I have lost over a stone and dropped a dress size. It’s really helped me start to feel like me again and I’ve found that I now have so much more energy than before as well. It’s been nice getting to the end of the day and having energy, opposed to being so exhausted that I am in bed at 8pm.
As for the future, we don’t like planning ahead too much, but we have some very exciting travel plans coming up, starting with our Northern European road trip, which will see us drive to Copenhagen and back again (you can read about that here). Bear starts Pre-School this year, which is both daunting, exciting and saddening all in one go. I can’t believe he is turning 3 this year and really brings home just how quickly children grow up. We are all really looking forward to what the future holds for our little family and are cherishing every moment of the journey.
P.S. I’ll get a separate Christmas post up soon – I know it seems like Christmas was ages ago, but as I said life has been a whirlwind lately! Here are a couple of pictures until then though.
Hopefully you won’t have to wait as long for our next family update, but I can’t promise anything. But until next time you can keep up to date with what we get up to on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and of course The Blog.