My year started with the biggest bang possible as I found myself giving birth to my delightful little boy in the early hours of New Year’s Day. From thereon in it has been a year full of ups and downs, the pressure of a house with three children all aged under 6 taking its toll on my sleeping patterns and waistline as I eat more and more chocolate to cope.
|image copyright Cocoon Photography|
The first six months of the year passed in a whirl of nappies and bottles with the exception of my hubby winning a fantastic electric car. This was thanks to the help of a lot of the local St Albans Twitter and blogging community who came out in force to help us. Since we are both keen on green issues the prospect of owning an electric car was really exciting and when we won it was like a dream come true. Having had the car for about 6 months now the only issue so far with it has been when the hubby got stuck in traffic in the cold and realised it was a choice between heating or reaching his destination. You can’t have it all!
When Ned was 6 months old I began to wean him, I must say he took to food very well and very quickly he especially enjoyed trying Little Yeos for the first time. It was around the time of the Queen Diamond Jubilee; I think that helped as we got invited to a lot of parties where little Ned scavenged sausage rolls and tiny sandwiches! It was great to feel really proud of our country and the children were inspired to learn a lot more about history alongside enjoying the parties.
A couple of months later I decided to bite the bullet and take all the kids camping at the wonderful Wilderness Festival. I can’t rate this highly enough, they experienced music, drama, dance and much more and there was plenty for little Ned to enjoy. We loved The Flying Seagulls and hearing about their work with children was humbling. After the final day we came home and watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony. As a born and bred Londoner I was really overjoyed when I heard the Olympics were coming to London and sitting watching the brilliant awe inspiring ceremony with my best friends and family was one of the highlights of my entire year. Of course, the sporting activities didn’t do us much good as we all sat on the sofa for a couple of weeks glued to it!
During the school summer holidays I decided to encourage the kids to learn more about other countries so each week we spent a day doing activities related to a particular country. Of all of them the day we spent learning about India; filming our own story of Diwali, tasting food and trying on saris proved to be the most memorable and the kids still speak about it. Shortly after that day my five year old learnt to ride his bike without stabilisers. I couldn’t have enjoyed the school holidays more.
We don’t get much chance to do activities with just the older children and this year I have only spent one day alone with them. I decided to make it a cultural day so we went to The ChickenShedTheatre to see a production of Sleeping Beauty which was awe inspiring and I highly recommend. I think it’s important to demonstrate to children that everyone is an individual and disabilities of any kind should not be a barrier to achievement and this is what The ChickenShed do so magnificently.
This year has also seen me becoming a bit more pro-active outside the house. I’ve joined a book club, much to the mirth of my husband who knows how little time I have to myself. It’s also seen the development of a Baby Book Club for our kids, much better than a coffee morning we now bring our favourite kids’ books along and the children can look at them, review them and experience the joy that a good book brings! I have also joined the local Ladies Circle, part of the Rotary Club, it’s a great way of meeting people and raising a bit of cash along the way.
For me, this year could not have been the same without the support and friendship of a wide range of people and I look forward to enjoying their company in 2013. The year little Ned learns to walk, Fifi and Boy start to read books without as much help, we all go camping and stay in a log cabin and quite possibly I become a university student again. I hope I will be able to get even more involved in our local community and raise some money for some good causes and also get to read some fab books at book club. I’m also hoping I get a full night’s sleep at some point in 2013, but with three little kids I’m not hopeful on that one.
I’m really proud to be a Yeo Valley Brand Ambassador. Becoming involved with the brand has changed my outlook on life in so many ways and really made me think about the environment, the community and the food I feed my family. Many of the things which I have done this year and look forward to doing have been as a result of things which I have learnt at, or as a result of, Yeo Valley.
I’d love to hear about the highlights of your year. What made 2012 stand out for you and what do you hope to achieve in 2013?