As 2022 comes to an end, I’ve decided to take a look back at what has been without a doubt the craziest, happiest and just all round amazing year of my life.
Despite being the longest month for many, January for me went by in a flash. Stu and I had our last full child free month, so we decided to cram in as many lie-ins and date nights as we could, including a beyond relaxing trip to Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire. Here, we were spoilt rotten before I said farewell to PR Ali and got set to start maternity leave.
If January was the quickest month, February was by far the LONGEST month. In the first couple of weeks, I enjoyed the novelty of being off, filling my time organising one sister’s 40th, another’s baby sprinkle and tidying pretty much every cupboard in the house. However, by the time my due date had been and gone, I was officially bored ( God how I wish I had time to be bored now 😂) Thankfully, just three days after my due date, I was with my mum and sister celebrating my nephew’s fourth birthday, when Mum gave my bump a good talking too, saying the baby had to make an appearance soon.
I’m not sure I was ready for quite how soon, as the very next morning, I woke up to find my waters had broken! I won’t go into all the details of my labour (as you can read those here) but a hop skip and 12 laughing gas filled hours later, our princess Sienna arrived into the world.
March is definitely a blur. The first two weeks Stu and I enjoyed our wonderful baby bubble, before I got properly set on Sienna and my maternity leave journey together.
March also saw the arrival of Sienna’s cousin and partner in crime, Sophia, as well as her husband to be, Ted.
Now, in my naive, pre baby head, I thought by April, I’d have this parenting lark down. Sienna would be in a routine and I’d have loads of time to fill, on my year long “holiday.”
Shockingly, this wasn’t the case. Instead the witching “hour” was in full swing, where Sienna would basically scream from 5-10pm before knocking herself out. We also, had the joy of Sienna’s first set of jabs.
On the day of the jabs, I was really nervous as Stu and I headed to the doctors, calpol in hand. To our delight though, after a few grizzles in the surgery, Sienna was actually fine. I spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the post jab cuddles, wondering what all the fuss was about…
The next day I discovered what that fuss was. We were at our first proper family do since having Sienna at my parents. I was a bit stressed out anyway as before when I’d gone to a family party, my biggest concern had been choosing a nice E5p outfit… this time I had to time Sienna’s feed, try and work out when to feed her to minimise us turning up with milk on me or sick on her and of course there was a poo explosion just before leaving.
When we got to my parents, even though we were both in a sleep deprived daze, Stu, Sienna and I were all actually having a good time. Sienna was having nice Nana cuddles, Stu was having a beer and I was having a very nice coffee.
Of course, as any parent will know, the moment we went to have dinner, the serenity ended as Sienna began to scream…a lot. After, both Stu and I did everything we could to try and console her, in between trying to wolf both our dinners down we decided it was probably best to make a move.
And again, of course, as any parent will know, as soon as we got in the car, Sienna fell fast asleep and serenity was restored.
April, did also have lots of highs as I got into my maternity swing, taking Sienna on lots of adventures to meet all her lovely new friends, including the newest addition to the clan, Daisy.
In May, Sienna got to experience her first proper trip away from home as she enjoyed a wonderful trip to Cornwall with her Nanny, Grandad, Great Grandad, Uncle James, Auntie Rach and her cute furry cousin Milo. This was amazing and I’m desperate to take her back (and not just because the cornish air made her sleep from 7pm- 8am each day!)
May was also a big milestone month as we started our first baby class together Daisies. The class was great but the best thing was meeting some really kind new mums and feeling reassured that I wasn’t the only one on this crazy parenting journey.
June was very special, as I got to celebrate my first birthday as a mum – which was without a doubt the best birthday ever. The day stated with a lovely lie in from Sienna (she didn’t wake till 7.30 so a mum lie in) Stu and I then went for a beautiful walk, before meeting my mum in Gunwharf. The day was completed with a tasty Thai takeaway and some love island – bliss!
Another hi-light of June was my mum’s birthday. After the craziness of the last family do in April, I was a bit anxious about what Sienna was going to be like at a birthday bbq. Thankfully, this time, as the witching hour was finally coming to an end, Stu and I were much more in our parenting flow and Sienna hadn’t had any jabs within the last 24 hours we had a MUCH better time.
Sienna smiled and napped when we wanted her too, we got to eat our meals at a relatively normal pace (I mean we were still conscious of her waking up so there def was still some rushing) and all in all had a wonderful time.
In July I got to experience what a heat wave is like with a baby. Now, don’t get me wrong this was lovely in a lot of ways, the morning sunny walks, playing with Sienna in the paddling pool and for the first time in my entire life, having a sort of tan! However, in other ways it wasn’t so lovely. Being paranoid about Sienna burning, overheating and breastfeeding every two mins so she didn’t get dehydrated and then trying to keep myself hydrated wasn’t much fun.
I can’t complain too much though, as lots of amazing memories were still made. Especially with my sister, as we made the most of my nephew’s last summer before starting school with trips to the farm, splash park and lots of pop up play.
As we entered August, the heatwave continued but by this point we were getting better at coping, aka fan constantly on, multiple cool baths for Sienna and alot of trips to air conditioned supermarkets!
August also saw Stu and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary with our first date night since having Sienna. This was so so so special and made even more enjoyable by the fact that Sienna was an angel for her Nanny whilst we were out, sleeping the entire time.
In September we had our first holiday as a family of three in Devon. The heatwave did officially come to an end whilst we were away, but as we wrapped up in our waterproofs and cosied up in our lovely cottage, we couldn’t have had a better time than if we were in the Bahamas. This holiday will also always be the place I can tell Sienna too where she was when we saw a new prime minister and the passing of our queen in the space of a couple of days.
Now, October is traditionally one of my favourite months. I love the changing of the seasons, the beautiful colours and obviously Halloween. And for the majority, this was a great month, as we went pumpkin picking, had fun at Halloween jiggly wrigglers and even a Halloween party (that ended up with Lauren, mum, Sienna, Sophia and Brandon having a nice trip to Gunwharf with the girls in fancy dress. )
Sadly, the month came to a scary, sicky end, as Sienna came down with the worst sickness bug at exactly the same time as all our trick or treaters arrived. Shortly after, Stu, me, mum and pretty much everyone I came into contact with then came down with the same bug.
Thankfully, we all got through the puke together and I learnt just how helpful Miss Rachel and Dancing Fruit can be!
In November, the end of my maternity leave journey began with my first proper KIT day. I won’t go into all the details of how this went, partly because I’ve written about it here and partly because I’ve realised how long this blog is getting. But basically, like all bits of parenting so far, it was a mix of emotions, with tears, smiles and calls to my mum.
And all this takes us to now in December! So, as you can see if you’ve been bothered to read all that rambling, it’s been quite a year! And while there have definitely been hard bits, the amazing bits make it totally worth while and I just can’t wait to see what’s to come in 2023!
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