Round up of 2013 – the good, the bad and the ugly

Nothing like leaving things to the last minute, but I’ve tried to remember sooner than I did last year, about posting my review of the year.

There’s been some major changes for us this year with family and work, and 2013 hasn’t been the best overall.  I’m hoping we’ve had our share of the bad stuff, so 2014 can only be better.  Fingers crossed.

The good

N.  We’re so lucky with N.  95% of the time he’s a happy little boy, who’s willing to do most things.  His nursery school age 2-3 progress check made me chuckle where in answer to ‘I don’t like….’ they’d written ‘we’re yet to find anything N doesn’t like or won’t join in with’.  Sounds about right.  Now we have conversations, fun role play, lots of cuddles, and all of those interesting leaps in development as he nears his 3rd birthday.

Work features in the good and not so good really.  After being out of a job at the end of last year, my aim was to find a new one closer to home.  I thought it would be impossible as most jobs near me aren’t anything to do with my experience, but I managed to get a new job (maternity cover at the moment).  It was a big change culturally – going from private company in FMCG industry I knew so well, to one which was not for profit, publically funded, and although it’s in the food & drink team and requires some of my environmental interest from my geography days, is very different in every way.  It’s been an interesting challenge, and seems to be going well…with the bonus that I have a 15 minute commute (if that) each way.  Here’s hoping something will come of it in a few months time, otherwise I’ll be looking for a new job again and hoping I’ve not been too long out of my old industry!  It is nice to be appreciated by your boss, and it’s great to know someone wants me to stay due to the work I’ve done (especially as it’s given me a bit of confidence that I can do work that on paper I really didn’t have that much experience for!)

Friends – it’s been great to know I’ve got really good friends around me (and my brother has too).  We really needed the support, even just the messages, while my mum was ill.  Now we need to find the time to catch up with them properly and have some fun.

Blogging has been great this year (my OH wouldn’t agree, as I do admit I spend a lot of my spare time doing it and social media).  I’ve been to my first Britmums conference, and hopefully next year will get to a couple of other events.  It was great to meet other bloggers in real life, and hopefully will meet up with some more local to me in time.  I’ve also had the chance to work with various different brands, and am looking forward to working with The Toadstool and continuing writing for Water Babies in 2014.

The not so good (and the truly ugly)

2013 also saw my mum being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer – inoperable in the brain as well as lung and various other lumps.  She dealt with it really well, and 8 or 9 months was really life on hold and a focus on spending time with her, before her final month where she went into the hospice and then a couple of weeks ago died peacefully.  Bizarrely before she went, I was feeling at the wrong side of 35, like I would be an orphan (my dad died when I was 3).  My brother did a lot of caring for her, and I think having been able to prepare to some extent, has meant a lot of grieving done beforehand.  N’s been a star, and the last week or so we’ve had quite a few discussions about Grandma and looked at a lot of old photos.  The worst’s past now, and the new year will see hopefully the solicitor getting off their backside and actually responding to us, and doing the job they’re meant to do so we can get closure and finish off everything our mum wanted us to get done.

DVT.  During the last couple of months, I found my leg all red, lumpy and painful and off I went straight to the doctors.  Yet again (after having had one 12 years ago) I had a blood clot although thankfully this time round, the doctors listened and checked, and agreed that I should have a scan.  It was caught early, and then started the ‘joy’ of jabs for a few weeks, plus warfarin tablets along with regular (and blooming inconvenient for someone who works) INR checks.  It looks like I’ll be on warfarin for life, although I’m hoping that I’ll be able to change to a newer drug over time which won’t need all the checks.  Still no idea on the trigger, so all a bit of a mystery.  I guess it means a few checks by the consultant and then back to mostly normal life again.

Toilet training, or the lack of this.  I’d been hoping that N would be ready to change to pants and toilet in the summer, while the weather was warmer and when I’d have some time off work.  But no, it’s now December and although he’ll quite happily sit on the toilet at the beginning and end of the day and wee, we’re no closer to him being willing to lose the nappies or pull ups, however much he gets excited by pants.  And the idea of poo-ing in the loo even though he knows that’s where it goes, is a definite no.  We have managed a couple of daytime ones with the promise of reading books while he sits there (obviously going to have to get a magazine rack in the cloakroom!), and one at each nursery, so I’m hoping we might be able to get somewhere over the Christmas holidays.

What’s to look forward to?

  1. No more nappies – see above!
  2. More fun with N. We’re continuing to swim and hopefully will see him gaining more confidence and being able to swim on his own without a woggle
  3. Moving up to preschool – after being the oldest by some way in his current room at his day nursery, he’ll finally be moving up, so he’ll be back with his older friends he used to love playing with, and hopefully that’ll help getting rid of nappies and him wanting to be a bit more like a ‘big boy’
  4. Checking out his tongue tie once and for all.  Our speech therapy appointment is finally booked for January, and I’m hoping that they’ll say his language is fine and there’s nothing more to worry about.
  5. Seeing more of my friends. With family illness it’s meant a lot more family home time and I’ve felt a bit far away from my friends, so I really want to try and catch up with a lot more people, and lots more days out with N.
  6. A family holiday…here’s hoping.  I’m on a mission to train N to get his dad to book some time off from the farm and agree to go on holiday.  I think we all need one, and it would be great to get a proper family holiday in for the first time.
  7. Getting back to my target and reasonable weight.  I’ve been pretty lazy, and up and down with trying to lose the baby weight.  But I’ve lost 2 stone now, and with a couple left to go, I’m determined that I’m not going to put the weight back on again.  Hopefully not too much eating over Christmas, and I can get back to exercise now my leg’s better.  I’m back in quite a few items of clothing, but I’ve still got a lot to go before I can fit into the majority of my wardrobe again.
  8. More blogging.  I definitely want to do some more with the blog, although it’s still going to be predominantly for myself and N.  I’d like to have a redesign – maybe that’s a job for over the Christmas holidays when I might have some spare time?  And hopefully 2014 will see more giveaways on Bubbablue and me.

I think that’s about it for my round up of 2013.  Lots of challenges, hopefully fun and good health for 2014.  Thanks for reading over the last year, Merry Christmas to you and have a happy new year.

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  1. A lovely post to get to know you better, but also sad to hear about your mum passing away. I understand the orphan feeling, having no parent to talk to on a very regular basis. I lost my dad when I was 10 and my mum about 18 months ago to throat cancer. Even though one is more prepared for the loss to come, I still found it very confronting in combination with being a new parent. Big hug for the ‘bads and ugly’ and so happy to be on your ‘good’ list. Glad to make a difference! We’ll get you a competition!

    1. Thanks Niki, really appreciated. It also helps when you know so many people go through the same thing as well.
      Now it’s definitely onwards and upwards. Hopefully 2014 will be kinder to lots of people.

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